Slane has a medieval bridge and an 18th century
road carrying 21st century articulated traffic…
The only long-term solution to the
ongoing traffic problem in Slane
is the construction of the bypass.

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Bypass Slane Campaign submission lodged with An Bord Pleanála

The closing date for submissions to An Bord Pleanála on the proposed N2 Slane Bypass was Wednesday 17th February. The Bypass Slane Campaign lodged a submission on behalf of all of our supporters and residents of Slane strongly supporting the proposed bypass. We understand that ninety-eight submissions in total were received by the Bord both in favour and against the proposal. We are very pleased that so many local groups and individuals went to the time, effort and expense of making their views known to the Bord. We thank everyone who took part in this part of the process with either ourselves, the Slane Community Forum or the Slane Bridge Action Group.

The key position statement presented in this submission is as follows:

The Bypass Slane Campaign believes that the key issue facing a decision on granting of permission for the proposed N2 Slane Bypass will relate to

    • proximity to the World Heritage Site and
    • the visual impact of the development.

We accept that there will be a visual impact from particular points locally, including parts of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site. However, the EIS states that the proposed N2 Slane Bypass route lies some distance outside the western boundary of the WHS Buffer Zone. It also clearly states that many of these impacts will reduce over time with proper mitigation.

We feel that given the scale and overall proportion of these changes that they must be considered acceptable when put alongside the very significant positive impacts for road safety and general quality of life for the resident community of Slane and for other N2 road users.

We did take the opportunity to draw attention to a number of other issues which the plans for the proposed bypass do not seem to directly address. We urged that any works required to upgrade road safety in the village be considered as an integrated element of the overall bypass scheme given that the key reason for constructing the bypass is to improve road safety in Slane.

We are particularly concerned about the lack of proposed measures to ensure adherence to speed limits and encourage proper road usage on the N51 between the interchange/roundabout where the bypass will cross it and the village limits on the Navan Road. There will be an increase in traffic on this route, especially HGV traffic, and we are seeking assurances that all will be done to make this route as safe as possible.

We also drew attention to the need to take into account the likely effects of the opening of the M3 on traffic through Slane, especially given that it is acknowledged in the EIS that toll-dodging from the M1 is currently a factor. The M3 is likely to further increase traffic flows through the village, increasing the dangers to residents and road users.

We also drew attention to the lack of discussion of the proposed HGV ban. It is our understanding that it will be possible to finally implement a ban once the bypass is constructed. We want the HGV ban to be implemented as an integral part of the overall scheme. Unfortunately, there is no commitment to this either in the plans supplied with the EIS or elsewhere at present. Similarly, the fact that there will be a need for HGVs travelling to and from the west to continue to pass through the village means that there cannot be a complete ban on HGVs and we would like to see detail on how this will be managed now, before the bypass is constructed.

The issue of tolling was not considered in the EIS. While there has been no proposal to toll the bypass on completion, we have no statement from Meath County Council or the NRA to confirm this. Imposition of a toll at this stage would be unacceptable as it would be completely counterproductive and would discourage traffic from using the bypass. In the longer term, if the N2 is upgraded from Ashbourne to Ardee and possibly further north, it seems inevitable that tolls will be introduced. We need assurances that the positioning of toll booths will take account of the need for the maximum amount of traffic to use the Slane bypass.

 

 

 


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Contact us at bypassslanecampaign@gmail.com

Bypass Slane Campaign, c/o Slane Community Forum, The Village Inn, Slane, Co. Meath.