The reports today that the Government plan to abandon several major road projects in Donegal has come as a major blow to the county, according to Northwest MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher.
Mr Gallagher has written to the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar today following media reports that the Minister has instructed the National Roads Authority to suspend all of the National and Secondary Roads projects in Co Donegal.
The Fianna Fáil MEP commented, “I have written to Minister Varadkar to express my anger at his short-sighted decision to shelve all of the new road projects in Co Donegal, even the low cost projects. While I understand the constraints on the public finances, it is extremely disappointing that the Minister appears to have made a sweeping decision not to retain the funding for at least some of these crucial road works.
“This blatant Government u-turn has a more serious impact on Donegal than many other parts of the country. We are the furthest county from the capital. We have the highest road mileage in the country and our local road network is most in need of continued development. While we have an excellent air service from Donegal to Dublin, improved road access to the airport from other parts of Donegal is extremely important if the airport is to be developed to its full potential.
“The previous Government committed to these particular projects during a time of economic difficulty, realising the enormous economic and social benefits to Donegal. But it now appears that this Government is willing to scrap the progress made. I am appealing to Minister Varadkar to reconsider this decision and allow some projects to proceed after consultation with the council and public representatives.
“I have also respectfully suggested to the Minister that he immediately visit the county in order to fully understand the implications of this move and to meet with local representatives to discuss the matter in detail.”