Thursday, 16 September 2021
Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
I answered some of these questions earlier so I will not read out the full response. To answer a very specific question, however, €8.1 million has been spent to date. I recall the Deputy was Chair of the transport committee when we had a specific session to consider the road. As I recall, there were concerns from local residents around some of the traffic management implications of it. There were also some environmental concerns around the bogland to the west of the proposed route alignment. I hope we can overcome those.
My understanding is that we are still waiting, in a sense, for the planning issue in regard to that and for An Bord Pleanála to issue a direction. Subject to those planning and other assessments being put in place, it is hoped that we can get the road approved through both the planning system and the public spending code system.
It is the type of project that will really create opportunities, going back to what I was saying earlier about towns in west Cork. The same applies in Ardee, a town with huge amounts of traffic going through it and a very historic, beautiful town centre, which could be restored and brought back to life if we can get this project up and running.
The key issues, therefore, are around that planning and consenting system, subject to that being agreed. We would have to get funding, obviously, and there are difficult funding choices, but this project is very far advanced. It would be the end of a very long and extensive planning system. With the resolution of those local traffic management and environmental issues, I see no reason it should not proceed.