Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has called on Minister for Transport Shane Ross to prioritise the upgrade of the N11 / M11 in order to alleviate growing traffic congestion between Wexford and Dublin.

Deputy Browne made the comments during a special Dáil debate secured by Fianna Fáil on the need for greater investment in transport infrastructure.

Deputy Browne said, “There has been a significant increase in congestion along the N11 / M11in recent years and all indicators are that this problem will escalate in the months ahead as more commuters take to the roads. The congestion is having an adverse impact on people’s quality of life and is harming mental health, family life and economic well-being.

“Traffic congestion is a serious issue which needs to be tackled. Minister Ross has failed to come forward with any sort of a plan to tackle the issue. There is a severe infrastructural deficit between Dublin and Wexford and Government is simply failing to come forward with proposals to address this.

“Transport Infrastructure Ireland have highlighted that a third lane is badly needed on the N11 / M11 roadway to tackle the growing congestion problem. They have outlined that any delay in investing in road improvements will constrain growth and hinder productivity. This is a serious problem and it’s clear that the lack of transport infrastructure will harm Wexford’s economy in the years ahead unless corrective action is taken.

“It’s important to remember that Brexit will have a significant impact on transport supply chains right across Ireland. The creation of a customs barrier between north and south will have an impact on the flow of perishable goods between Ireland and the UK. The only viable means to get our perishable goods to the continent following Brexit will be via Rosslare Europort. Despite this we haven’t seen the Government come forward with any plan to invest in Rosslare Europort to help the facility deal with the fallout from Brexit. Minister Ross hasn’t even stepped in to provide certainty over the future of the Dublin – Rosslare Europort rail-line.

“The Government needs to seriously up-it’s game when it comes to investing in transport infrastructure. Failure to do so will only lead to increased hardship for Wexford commuters and will damage the economy in the wider south-east.”