Sinn Féin, TD Darren O’Rourke has issued a note of caution, relating to the mention of the Navan-Dublin rail link, in today’s National Development Plan.

He told Meath Live, “While I welcome the mention of the Navan Rail Line in this plan, no firm commitment is given on this vital project.

“Although most recognise the urgent need for a rail connection to Dublin, no dates, budget or guarantees are included, instead it’s still subject to a review. The Plan indicates that funding for the commencement of planning and design of the project will be available, if the review is successful.

“In essence, under the Government’s plan, the Navan rail line might, at best, be at planning and design stage in 2030. At that rate, we’re likely at least 15 years from the line being delivered. That’s completely unacceptable.

“The major roads projects for Meath – Slane Bypass, N2 Rath Roundabout to Kilmoon Cross, and M3 Clonee to M50 –  haven’t moved in terms of priority in the three years since the last NDP was published.

“Minister Ryan’s comments in recent days raise serious questions about the commitment to deliver these projects. It is clear that roads projects have been significantly de-prioritised due to their impact on the climate. The Minister says he can’t guarantee every road project included in the plan will go ahead.

“Does this mean the NDP is just a booklet with a long list of projects to keep back-benchers happy, rather than a serious plan to address the deficits in our infrastructure?

“That’s simply not good enough for County Meath, where we are in desperate need for infrastructural investment.

“Some of the other projects included in this document have been launched repeatedly over two decades but remain undelivered, so many will be forgiven for thinking today is nothing more than political theatre.

“Indeed, instead of moving forward on some vital projects, we now seem to be going in reverse.

“The 2027 completion dates for both the Metrolink and DART+ have been removed, in favour of no date at all.
“This NDP was an opportunity to outline a vision and commitment to address infrastructural deficits. Instead, it appears completely incoherent and contradictory, much like the Government itself. It is a major disappointment for Co. Meath.”