Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla -Topical Issue Debates
I thank the Minister for his response. I am aware of the strategic access report requirement at the first decision stage in the project appraisal work. I am also familiar with Government policy. A tier 1 port is being developed in Cobh, which is hugely important. I invite the Minister to visit the area and drive the road, or be driven along it, in order that he can have a look at it. It is frightening and the volume of traffic is very high. I hope the cruise liners return when the pandemic ends. This project will take time. I ask the Minister to personally look at the file and support and drive on the project. If it was started today, by the time there were shovels in the ground, the project could take four or five years to complete, by which time we will probably all be gone from this House. I ask the Minister to push this very hard. The council is very anxious that the project proceeds because it knows how badly needed it is. Local people have contacted me about it. They are very concerned about the safety of the road, which is really dangerous. I know cycling is close to the Minister's heart but it cannot be cycled as there is no place for bicycles at all. It is an extraordinarily narrow road and the volume of traffic on it is extreme.
I know that the project must go through a procedure. I ask that the Minister get behind it and support the local authority which is doing its best to progress it for the people in the area.