AP­PEAL TO ROSS OVER AXED PLAN FOR N81

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By MYLES BUCHANAN

MEM­BERS of the N81 Ac­tion Group will meet with Trans­port Min­is­ter Shane Ross in an ef­fort to get him to re­verse the de­ci­sion to shelve the upgrade of the N81.

Wick­low County Coun­cil will also write to the Min­is­ter out­lin­ing the support of all 32 Coun­cil­lors for the upgrade from Hol­ly­wood Cross to Tal­laght, fol­low­ing a pro­posal from Cllr Gerry O’Neill.

He said: ‘It is sim­ply un­ac­cept­able that up to 100 landown­ers on the 32km route are left in limbo like this.

‘The planned upgrade re­quired a 300 me­tre strip from Tal­laght to Hol­ly­wood. That land has now been frozen un­til 2027, which is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able for the landown­ers.’

The road im­prove­ment scheme was not in­cluded in the Government’s Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Plan.

WICK­LOW County Coun­cil will write to Trans­port Min­is­ter Shane Ross ask­ing him to re­verse the de­ci­sion to shelve the up­grad­ing of the N81.

Min­is­ter of State An­drew Doyle has also ar­ranged a meet­ing be­tween the Min­ster, Wick­low’s five TDs and a del­e­ga­tion from the N81 Ac­tion Group due to take place in June.

Cllr Gerry O’Neill sought a sus­pen­sion of stand­ing or­ders at Mon­day’s meet­ing of Wick­low County Coun­cil and re­ceived the full support of the elected mem­bers with his pro­posal to write to Min­is­ter Ross and re­quest that he progress plans for an upgrade of the N81 from Hol­ly­wood Cross to Tal­laght.

A pre­ferred route cor­ri­dor for up­grades to the N81 was se­lected in 2016. How­ever, the road im­prove­ment scheme was not in­cluded in the Government’s Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Plan (CIP), which pro­vides the fi­nan­cial and strate­gic frame­work for Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land’s activities un­til 2021.

Fol­low­ing Mon­day’s County Coun­cil meet­ing, Cllr O’Neill said: ‘I am delighted with the support I re­ceived from my fel­low coun­cil­lors. The only budget the Trans­port In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land (TII) re­ceived was for the up­grad­ing of ex­ist­ing car­riage­ways up to 2027. It is sim­ply un­ac­cept­able that up to 100 landown­ers on the 32km route are left in limbo like this. The planned upgrade re­quired a 300-me­tre strip from Tal­laght to Hol­ly­wood. That land has now been frozen which is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able for the landown­ers. This is the only ma­jor road out of Dublin that has yet to be up­graded. Ev­ery­one had their hopes up when a pre­ferred route was se­lected but now, once again, the N81 has been put on the long fin­ger.’

Cllr O’Neill has also thanked An­drew Doyle TD for ar­rang­ing a meet­ing with Min­ster Ross, which will also be at­tended by mem­bers of the N81 Ac­tion Group, which the coun­cil­lor is a mem­ber of.

‘Credit where credit is due. Min­is­ter of State Doyle has or­gan­ised a meet­ing for June 13. We ap­pre­ci­ate his in­ter­est and ef­forts in ar­rang­ing the meet­ing. Pre­vi­ously we have found it very dif­fi­cult to make any sort of con­tact with the Min­is­ter.

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