Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has slammed the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross for taking no interest in the critical upgrade works on the N81 in West Wicklow and trying to pass the book on the issue. In a response from Transport Infrastructure Ireland they have said that that the N81 scheme will not be progressed during the National Development Plan 2018-2027.
Speaking having received correspondence from the Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Deputy Brady said:
“Having raised the critical need for the N81 from Tallaght to Hollywood Cross road improvement scheme again with the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross, I’m disgusted that he has effectively washed his hands of the issue and is trying to pass the book.”
“In a response I received from Transport Infrastructure Ireland they have said that the N81 Tallaght to Hollywood Cross Scheme is not included in projects that have been identified for development during the 2018-2027 period of the National Development Plan and the advancement of the scheme can’t be included in the national roads programme.”
“Last year I presented Minister Ross with a petition containing thousands of signatures demanding that the critical upgrade scheme be progressed, I also arranged for him to visit West Wicklow to meet with public representatives and look at the dangerous condition of the road. The Minister hadn’t even the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of the petition. Now when I raise the issue of the N81, the Minister completely passes the book on it.”
“The plans which have been worked on now for 10 years would see an upgrade of 31km of the N81, with a focus on improving the road safety and journey times for motorists using the road. After extensive public consultation a preferred route had been selected and a 300 metre wide corridor along the route has been frozen from any other development. I have consistently shown the Minister that the N81 is one of the deadliest roads in the County. According to a briefing report which was released by the Kildare National Roads Office, the current N81 between Tallaght and Hollywood Cross has up to seven times the national average of head-on collisions, and two times the national average of single-vehicle crashes.”
Deputy Brady concluded “We can’t wait until 2027 for this project to be looked at or even considered. The major safety issues can’t wait that long. The development of West Wicklow is also being strangled by the failure to progress the scheme. I am now calling on Wicklow Ministers Harris and Doyle to intervene with their Government colleague and ensure the project is progressed without delay.”