Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Transport, Darren O’Rourke, says confirmation from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) of a major funding deficit for new roads projects in the National Development Plan (NDP) raises serious concerns for Slane Bypass and N2 Kilmoon Cross-Rath Roundabout works in Meath.
Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of TII, attended an Oireachtas Committee last week and confirmed to Deputy O’Rourke that just €1bn is allocated for new roads projects in the coming years, and with €800m of already committed to projects already under construction, very little is available to progress projects at the planning stage. A concerned O’Rourke told Meath Live, “When the NDP was announced a number of weeks ago it was immediately clear that there was a massive funding deficit for new roads. A long list of new roads was provided but no funding.
“TII attended before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport last week and confirmed this to be the case.
“Chief Executive Peter Walsh informed the Committee that funding in the years 2021-2025 will be in the order of €1 billion but in the region of €800m of that will be required to complete projects currently at the construction phase. He added that there is limited funding available for the progression of projects in the planning phase.
“Mr. Walsh accepted my assertion that there are insufficient funds in the period from 2021 to 2025 to progress a significant number of the projects that are listed in the NDP.
“This is incredibly disappointing for the community of Slane who have been fighting for years for the delivery of the bypass. Similarly, the thousands of commuters left sitting in traffic on the N2 every morning will be incredibly frustrated to hear that a solution to address congestion there is a long, long way off.
“Sinn Féin will bring a motion to the Dáil this week calling for the Government to provide clarity, timeframes, and funding for new roads projects. In the meantime, I would call on Ministers Helen McEntee and Thomas Byrne to provide that detail as it relates to projects in Meath.
“The Ministers should tell us how much is allocated to Meath projects in the NDP and what progress, if any, we can expect on them between now and 2026?”