Port route fund­ing must be a pri­or­ity

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS -

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

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