Naas Mayor Cllr James Lawless has backed a call on Transport Minister Paschal Donohue to provide emergency funding for repairs to the bridge at Caragh. The bridge has been shut since 22nd August after it was damaged. Residents and business owners in Caragh have been left stranded without suitable road access to Naas or M7 since its closure.

Speaking about the situation, Cllr Lawless said, “I fully support the efforts from my party colleague Cllr Robert Power who has written to the Transport Minister requesting that funds be expedited to allow for the bridge to be repaired.

“Currently we’ve been told that it could be shut for up to three months. Kildare County Council is fully stretched right now and schools have reopened. Traffic levels in the area are reaching crisis levels. This bridge closure effectively means the main artery between Naas-M7 and Caragh has been severed. We need a quick solution to reopen the road.

“We’re also hearing from business owners in Caragh village who’ve felt a collapse in trade since the bridge closure. Employee hours are being cut because business has dropped so much. A couple of months of this will be a deep blow to the local economy which is dependent on the passing trade. It is imperative that government provide emergency financial assistance to end this crisis.

“Furthermore, this particular crisis also highlights the precarious traffic situation in the wider Naas area and underlines the need for the Osberstown-M7 interchange and Sallins by-pass to be fast tracked.