Port route funding must be a priority
LOUTH County Council have applied for millions of euro in funding for the Northern Cross Route under an Urban Renewal Development Fund.
The funding application is for construction of the first section of the Northern Cross Route from the Killineer Roundabout to the Ballymakenny Road.
‘It is also a great advantage that Louth County Council are taking the lead on this application. I am confident on merit, the application will be successful. The quality status of the Full Planning Permission attached to this project, qualifies it as a Category A project, for which Louth County Council, can apply for full funding for the first tranche,’ Cllr Tommy Byrne stated.
‘ The building on phase one is for 2,100 houses, with the first 200 homes ludicrously proposed to access the Twenties Lane, until the section of the Northern Cross Route is constructed. You can only imagine the traffic chaos at the Crosslanes junction, where the development allowed to proceed. It is therefore, essential and common sense, that the first phase of the Northern Cross Route road be constructed before any of the new houses are occupied.’
He says the Drogheda Northern Cross Route is the missing link for the town to grow and reach full potential.
‘ The employment generated alone would be awesome with the building of affordable/ social homes, light industrial/commercial projects. Sporting Clubs are crying out for facilities which are most impressive in the plans. I am calling on the Industrial Development Authority to grasp the opportunity on the vast lands, to build a state of the art Employment Campus – essential to Drogheda’s future employment.’
Meawnhile, Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster TD has raised the matter of the port access northern cross route with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross TD.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Munster questioned why such a vital piece of infrastructure was excluded from Project 2040 and the National Development Plan, given the current traffic gridlock in Drogheda, and plans to increase the population of the town by 20,000 people under the Northern Environs Plan.
“Minister Ross has said that cutbacks in state funding for regional and local roads are to blame for the road being side-lined. It was a dismal failure on the part of the government that the port access northern cross route was excluded from the National Development Plan. There is no reference to the road in the plan. Drogheda was given nothing under the plan – Third Tier Status is a completely meaningless sop.”
Deputy Munster also raised concerns about the lack of action from Louth County Council in making a case for the project.
“Louth County Council needs to be more proactive on this. I have written to the CEO not just asking her to make an application to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, but also to make an application to the Department of Transport. It is of major concern that the council is not making a case for the road under all available funding streams. The Minister has said that he has yet to receive an application for the project from the county council,’ she stated.
‘ This is simply not good enough. The council needs to get its act together. It’s not enough for me to raise it repeatedly with the Minister if the local authority won’t do their part.’
Deputy Imelda Munster says council must make application to Minister Shane Ross