Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Galway East Cllr. Anne Rabbitte has accused the Environment Minister of parish pump politics for securing road improvement and resurfacing works in his own county, while allowing the neglect of road conditions in Galway. The Portumna based candidate highlighted the N65 Galway-Rosslare route as a prime example this two-tier system.
Cllr. Rabbitte explained, “The N65 is the main road linking Galway and Rosslare – hundreds of thousands of journeys are made on it every year, yet there are major deficiencies on large stretches of the road in Co. Galway, particularly around Portumna. The section between Kilmeen Cross and Portumna has been continuously overlooked by the NRA for funding, despite the volume of traffic passing through.
“The most frustrating aspect of the situation is the fact that 400 metres down the road, when you cross the bridge into Co. Tipperary, the road dramatically improves. No delayed resurfacing works or postponed upgrade works – Minister Alan Kelly has been able to ensure that the people living in his constituency are well looked after, while allowing the situation in Galway to deteriorate without a second thought. The state of the roads in Co. Galway is a disgrace and needs to be addressed as a matter of priority, however, the Environment Minister is more concerned with buying election votes than ensuring that Local Authorities have enough money to carry out essential road repairs.
“This stretch of road is an accident black spot, with the Gardai and units of Galway Fire Brigade attending collisions on a regular basis. The lack of lighting, combined with the very poor road markings and signage make Kilmeen Cross one of the most dangerous junctions in the county, particularly at night.
“I am aware that the survey has been completed but it has not gone to design as the NRA has not approved the funding for the overlay. Portumna is the only town in Galway, which has failed to get approval from the NRA for funding for road improvement works. Why is this? Businesses and residents have consistently called on the County Council and the NRA to approve funding but there has been no movement whatsoever.
“The situation with the N65 is extremely serious. Galway County Council needs to be given the funds to carry out these works as a matter of urgency. If the NRA fails to approve the funding Minister Alan Kelly must intervene to ensure that the money is provided. If he can do this for his own council in Tipperary there is no reason why he can’t do the same for Galway”.