Tipperary Fianna Fáil TD, Jackie Cahill has said that, despite the promises made by some Tipperary politicians, the Thurles Inner Relief Road project is as far away as ever.

Deputy Cahill was commenting after raising capital infrastructure projects with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross during a special topical debate where traffic management for Thurles was the subject in question in the Dáil this week.

“The Minister made it clear, in no uncertain terms, the Inner Relief Road which would offer some respite to residents, business owners and visitors to the town will not be progressed until at least after 2021. Also it was quite clear from the Minister that there was no firm commitment being offered after 2021 either.

“Additionally, he explained that the Thurles Bypass is not included in Ireland 2040/National Development Plan.

Cahill said it he was angry and disappointed that despite the hard work of council staff and the elected councillors for the area, who have submitted a plan for the project, that the Minister offered no firm support from Government.

“From listening to other public representatives in the area, one would think that the builders are ready to move on site. No capital funding has been secured and design and planning has not been delivered yet.

“Thurles is choking from traffic on a daily basis. We have four of the biggest secondary schools in the country in a busy market town and for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening, the town comes to a grinding standstill.

“Promises have been made to the local community for years that these two projects would be delivered. They haven’t and the town is being choked!

“If we are going to support the local businesses in Thurles who are significant rate payers then we cannot allow this Government to fob us off. What is worse some of our public representatives are propagating the fiction that our inner relief road has the support of the FG Government.

“The only way we will see movement on the traffic problems in Thurles is if there is a change in Government. This Government will not act.

“Public representatives shouldn’t be misleading local media who take claims made by elected representatives in good faith,” concluded Cahill.