Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport and TD for Meath East, Darren O’Rourke, has welcomed a commitment from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to review its opposition to a motorway link road at Stamullen. Despite Meath County Council’s support for the idea, TII has successfully appealed proposals to An Bord Pleanála on a number of occasions.
The commitment was made by Peter Walsh, CEO of TII, in response to questions from Deputy O’Rourke at a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport Committee last week. The agency also committed to engaging with Meath County Council on the matter.
Deputy O’Rourke told Meath Live, “I welcome the commitment from TII to review their opposition to the idea of a link road with the motorway at Stamullen. There is no proposal to develop a link road at the moment, but on a number of occasions in the past TII successfully opposed proposals on the basis that they believed the development would create an adverse impact on the national road and associated junctions and would undermine the carrying capacity of the M1 national route and diminish the level of service available to motorway users and the investment in the national roads infrastructure.
“An Bord Pleanála further pointed to the fact that there was no assessment of the likely indirect effects of a link road on traffic flows in the area and on the national road network.
“To date, we have had a direct conflict between the interpretation of strategic roads policy between Meath County Council and TII. The only way to resolve that is through dialogue. I welcome the fact that TII have agreed to review its position and engage with Meath County Council. It is an important step and will provide greater clarity regarding what needs to happen next. Is it the case that a link road will never happen or is there a need to change roads policy at a national level, for example? Or could a prospective developer satisfy TII’s concerns with a well-conducted impact assessment? These are important questions to answer and they have a huge impact on connectivity and the current and future development of Stamullen. I will continue to pursue the matter.”