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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Irish Independent article claims Slane Bypass 'Shelved'

9th August 2011

Today, the Irish Independent carried an article reporting that the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadrar, has announced the suspension of all major new road projects and instructed the NRA to stop all work on them. This suspension includes the N2 Slane Bypass, despite its specific inclusion as one of the top 5 prioritised schemes in the Four-Year Plan and the Programme for Government. This comes without any prior and at the time of writing, there was no indication of the move on the Department of Transport website. We are dismayed by the inappropriate timing of this announcement, coming only weeks before An Bord Pleanála is due to give a ruling on planning permission for the proposed bypass.

While the announcement is completely understandable because of the very difficult economic position at the moment, the cost of the Slane Bypass, estimated at less than €50 million, has been demonstrated to represent very good value for money. Additionally, given the unusual and apalling road safety record of the village and the stated aim of Minister Varadkar on the Department of Transport website to keep road fatalities and injuries down, we strongly urge a reconsideration of this decision for Slane before there is a further regrettable incident.

The text of the Irish Independent article is below, the link is HERE.

On the road to nowhere: 45 routes axed as cutbacks bite
By Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent
Tuesday August 09 2011

WORK on all major new road projects is being suspended because of spending cutbacks. The National Roads Authority (NRA) has been ordered by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to stop work on them, the Irish Independent has learnt.

This is in addition to the 40 projects already suspended. Of the 45 routes being shelved, 32 are national primary and 13 are national secondary; bypasses include Slane, Clonmel, Thurles, Kenmare, Listowel, Dungarvan and Adare. A major question mark has also been placed over three roads due to be bankrolled by the private sector in exchange for tolls. These are the N11 Arklow to Rathnew/Newlands Cross; M17/28 Gort to Tuam; and the N11/25 Enniscorthy and New Ross bypasses.
The 45 road projects are among the first casualties of swingeing cutbacks looming in the Budget.
An Bord Pleanala is considering proposals for the bypass of Slane, where campaigners and residents insist the road is essential to save lives. As many as 22 people have been killed either on the steep approaches to the bridge or on the bridge itself, as long-distance trucks negotiate the narrow inclines.
Just six roads projects are starting this year: bypasses for Belturbet, Longford and Tralee; The Downs separation project on the N4 dual-carriageway at Mullingar; and the Cork southern ring road and Carricksbridge to Dalystown (Westmeath) upgrades. The other projects will be shelved once a preferred route is selected. In a statement to the Irish Independent, Mr Varadkar confirmed he had "instructed the NRA to rein in spending on planning and preparatory works". He said: "Specifically, the NRA is taking all road projects to the end of their current stage of planning and will suspend them at that point.
"In my view, we should focus the limited resources we have on maintain existing infrastructure and proceeding with the small number of shovel-ready projects that we can afford to proceed with.
"I do not believe that it is appropriate to continue to spend millions of euro planning projects when we do not know if we can fund them.
"It will come as great disappointment to local communities and business interests that projects have been suspended, but I am sure the public will see the sense in this policy change."

Suspended
A spokesman for the minister said the suspended projects would be reactivated whenever funding became available, but this was unlikely in the current capital expenditure window up to 2014.
"Based on current plans, no new roads project will be commenced in 2012, 2013 or 2014."
If extra capital financing becomes available from additional tolling revenue or from the Current Expenditure Review, this will be used for smaller, shovel-ready projects which have already completed the planning process. One example is the N5 Ballaghaderreen bypass.
Referring to the public private partnership toll roads, the spokesman said: "The Government would like to see these projects completed, but this depends on obtaining financing from the private sector."

An NRA spokesman said he was aware of the minister's directive and believed it was appropriate in the current economic circumstances. "The planning process is brought to the preferred route stage to define where the future road will go and remove speculation about location, thus impacting less landowners," the spokesman added.

- Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

The particularly difficult situation that we in Slane find ourselves in is highlighted in a separate article in the Irish Independent. The link is HERE.

Litany of tragedies forced Slane locals to seek bypass
By Treacy Hogan
Tuesday August 09 2011

SLANE is synonymous with huge rock concerts and one of the longest campaigns to have a village bypassed. While other bypasses are designed to alleviate traffic congestion, the Co Meath project has, at its heart, a community-wide desire to end a spiral of carnage and a terrifying loss of human life.

Some 22 white crosses erected on a short stretch of road in Slane are daily reminders of the dangers faced by locals in a village which is home to fewer than 2,000 people. The last to die was two-year-old David Garvey. He lost his life when his mother's car was run over by a truck in February 2001.

The danger is caused by a steep incline on both sides of the river, combined with a sharp turn on to the bridge itself. This has proved lethal for lorries coming out of the village heading in the Dublin direction.

Deaths
Numerous truck drivers have suddenly found themselves without brakes. Vehicles have careered out of control, through the wall and into the river, often resulting in fatalities. The tragic death of David Garvey was one in a litany of accidents in Slane which were recounted at a Bord Pleanala oral hearing on the Slane bypass project last February. The hearing was told that, following David's death, local residents organised a public meeting.

The Slane Bridge Action Group was formed in a bid to strengthen the campaign for a bypass and to put an end to the continuous deaths occurring on the village's roads. That hope now appears dashed. The bypass has been put on hold for some years to come, as the Government cuts spending on road projects.

- Treacy Hogan

A further article gives the full list of axed schemes. The link is HERE.

Projects in the pipeline that are now suspended . . .

N2 Slane bypass.
N2 Castleblayney to NI Border.
N3 North of Kells to Cavan.
N4 Mullingar to Longford Rooskey.
N4 Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod.
N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin.
N5 Westport to N26 at Bohola.
M8 Dunkettle interchange upgrade.
M11 Enniscorthy to Gorey.
N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour.
N14 Letterkenny to Lifford.
N15 Ballybofey/Stranorlar bypass.
N15 Sligo to Bundoran.
N15 Lifford to Ballybofey/Stanorlar.
N17 Collooney to Tobercurry.
N17 Tobercurry bypass.
N17 Knock to Tobercurry.
N17 Tuam to Claremorris.
N21 Adare to Abbeyfeale.
N21 Adare bypass.
N22 Farranfore to Killarney.
N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom.
N22 Cork North Ring Road.
N24 Pallasgreen to Bansha.
N24 Ballysimon to Pallasgreen.
N25 New Ross bypass.
N25 Dungarvan bypass.
N25 Carrigtwohill to Midleton.
N25 Cork Southern Ring road upgrade.
N25 Waterford to Glenmore
N26 Ballina/Bohola.
N30 Clonroche to New Ross.

NATIONAL SECONDARY ROADS

N52 Kilbeggan to Tullamore.
N52 Ardee bypass.
N56 Dungloe to Glenties.
N56 Mountcharles to Inver.
N59 Clifden to Oughterard.
N59 Moycullen bypass.
N59 Westport to Mulranny.
N62 Thurles bypass.
N69 Listowel bypass.
N71 Kenmare bypass.
N81 Tallaght bypass to Hollywood Cross.
N86 Tralee to Dingle.
N87 Ballyconnell inner relief road.

Irish Independent

 

 

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Irish Independent

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Contact us at bypassslanecampaign@gmail.com

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