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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24 January 2010

The recent alarmist and provocative media coverage of the proposed Slane Bypass is disheartening but not surprising. The issue of the concerns that the proposed Slane Bypass will pass ‘500m from Newgrange' is misleading. According to the maps published in the EIS, the road will, in fact, pass 650m from the western boundary of the outer buffer zone of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne at its closest point.

This situation is different from the M3 in that the key problem with the Tara landscape was that there were no clear lines mapping the extent of that archaeological landscape and the expert witnesses at the oral hearing failed to agree as to where such a line be drawn.

This is clearly not the case with Brú na Bóinne. The boundaries of the WHS have been carefully drawn as long ago as 1989 to preserve and protect the archaeological landscape in the core area, with an additional buffer zone to protect the integrity of the River Boyne and the views into and out of the core area. While part of the proposed bypass may be visible from points within the WHS, it is clear that the road lies a significant distance outside these boundaries.

If there is such concern about the proposed construction of a life-saving road here in Slane, where was the outcry when the M1 was planned and constructed? The M1 actually forms the boundary of the WHS and bisects the Battle of the Boyne site. Very significant development has taken place on the fringes of Drogheda on the eastern side of the M1 and the WHS, some far closer than 500m. An unprecedented number of archaeological sites have been uncovered both on the line of the road and in the footprints of the warehouses, car-parks and supermarkets. Where is the media outcry drawing attention to this situation? Where do the ‘eco-warriors’ stand on this issue?

It is perhaps instructive to note that An Taisce, landowners who will be directly affected by the construction of the bypass, understand and accept the need for the proposed bypass. Speaking on RTÉ Six One News John Ducie of An Taisce says while there are problems in relation to the historical importance of the landscape ‘they are overcome-able if I can say that they can achieved through good design, good details, and we are working on a response to the NRA’s proposals.’

This road is not about economics or shortening journey times by a matter of a few minutes; it is about saving lives. This bypass will reduce the number of deaths and accidents on this notorious stretch of road.

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BnaB WHS MapMap of Brú na Bóinne WHS.
Yellow line - outline of Core Area
Red line - edge of Buffer Zone

From Meath County Council Draft Development Plan 2007-2013

For a larger view of the above map please click <HERE>

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Contact us at bypassslanecampaign@gmail.com

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