Fund­ing ‘could be bet­ter spent’

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

COUN­CIL­LORS main­tain that fund­ing pro­vided for resur­fac­ing works along the N81 would have been spent bet­ter else­where.

The works will last six weeks and in­volve resur­fac­ing on the N81 from the Kil­teel Junc­tion be­fore fin­ish­ing at the Bless­ing­ton In­ner Re­lief Road junc­tion with N81.

How­ever, Coun­cil­lors Gerry O’Neill (Ind) and Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins (FG) think the fund­ing would have been more suitable to tackle the Cross­chapel junc­tion or to widen sec­tions of the N81.

‘It’s ridicu­lous to spend €1.1 mil­lion on resur­fac­ing that stretch of the N81 with­out ad­dress­ing the ma­jor is­sues on the N81 at Cross­chapel,’ said Cllr O’Neill.

He has writ­ten to Trans­port Infrastruc­ture Ire­land (TII) ask­ing them to ex­plain how they came to the con­clu­sion that resur­fac­ing works were priority.

COUN­CIL­LORS main­tain that fund­ing pro­vided for resur­fac­ing works along the N81 could have been spent bet­ter else­where.

The works com­menced on Tuesday and will in­volve resur­fac­ing on the N81 from the Kil­teel Junc­tion all the way up to the Bless­ing­ton In­ner Re­lief Road junc­tion with N81.

They are due to take six weeks to com­plete and a stop go traf­fic man­age­ment sys­tem will be in place for the duration of the works, with mo­torists ad­vised to ex­pect de­lays.

How­ever, Coun­cil­lors Gerry O’Neill (Ind) and Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins (FG) both feel the resur­fac­ing works ap­pear un­nec­es­sary and the €1.1 mil­lion would have been bet­ter spent in cor­rect­ing the Cross­chapel junc­tion or widen­ing sec­tions of the N81.

‘It’s ridicu­lous to spend €1.1 mil­lion on resur­fac­ing that stretch of the N81 with­out ad­dress­ing the ma­jor is­sues on the N81 at Cross­chapel,’ said Cllr O’Neill. ‘There’s no light­ing and when ve­hi­cles com­ing from Dublin are in­di­cat­ing to turn right, other mo­torists are us­ing the hard shoul­der to pass them. It’s be­com­ing very dan­ger­ous, es­pe­cially for fam­i­lies with houses along the road. There have been fa­tal­i­ties there be­fore and some­thing needs to be done, ur­gently.’

He has writ­ten to Trans­port Infrastruc­ture Ire­land (TII) ask­ing them to ex­plain how they came to the con­clu­sion that resur­fac­ing works were priority.

‘No one will ar­gue against im­prove­ments to the N81 but this is just sur­face dress­ing, ex­cuse the pun, in­stead of tack­ling the real is­sues. Gen­er­ally the sur­face of the N81 is de­cent enough. The €1.1 mil­lion could have gone to­ward works at Cross­chapel, or it could have been used to fin­ish the Bless­ing­ton re­lief road in­stead,’ said Cllr O’Neill.

Cllr Tim­mins has crit­i­cised the lack of con­sul­ta­tion which took place be­fore­hand.

‘I agree the money could have been spent else­where. No con­sul­ta­tion took place with the elected mem­bers prior to the works in re­la­tion to the expenditur­e. I’m not a road ex­pect but the sur­face of most of the N81 where the works are tak­ing place ap­pears fine. The money could have gone into widen­ing the N81 south of Hol­ly­wood, where there are stretches of road where widen­ing is pos­si­ble,’ said Cllr Tim­mins.

Cllr Ed­ward Tim­mins.

Cllr Gerry O’Neill.

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