Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow and East Carlow Stephen Donnelly has described as ‘utterly disgraceful’ the on-going lack of Government funding for urgent N11 upgrades.
Deputy Donnelly has been campaigning for some time now for works to be carried out that would alleviate the extreme congestion faced by Wicklow commuters every day. In 2017 he secured agreement from Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, for a study to be carried out to identify the required works.
The study identified several elements of the N11 that should be upgraded to tackle the congestion. In mid-December Donnelly received confirmation from TII that they were proceeding to the design phase for various elements.
However, just this week, the government’s new list of national road funding yet again did not include the N11.
Deputy Donnelly said, “This latest announcement is another kick in teeth for the people of Wicklow by this Government. The N11 is one of the most congested roads in the country. It is causing hours of delay for Wicklow commuters. And because of the lack of public transport options, these commuters have no choice. The N11 is now regularly at a standstill by 7am.
“The TII have confirmed to me that design and statutory documentation for the scheme is about to start. We will shortly have all of the pieces needed to proceed with the project in place, but no funding.
“Since the completion of research on the route, which I requested, it is clear that the TII are keen to address the problem. It seems that Minister Ross and his cabinet colleagues do not share this concern. I have written to him repeatedly to request that funding be made available. Not only is he refusing to provide funding, he has also repeatedly refused to even meet on the issue.
“The failure of this Government to act in this area is now beginning to impact not just road users; it is now impacting on housing too. For example, plans to develop a sports campus and new homes at Fassaroe will not proceed without an upgrade to the road. I find it incredible that this is not a priority in the middle of a housing crisis. On top of that, the TII’s research indicates that it will impact on the productivity of the south-east.
“I am calling on Minister Ross to act immediately. His continued inaction will seriously damage Wicklow if he does not.”