Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Meath's Roads make a "Compelling Case" to Minister Ross

      Regina Doherty meets with Minister Shane Ross about funding for Meath Roads
    This week I was delighted to invite Meath County Council (MCC) CEO Jackie Maguire, Minister English, Minister McEntee, Senator Butler, Fine Gael Whip Cllr Gerry O'Connor and a number of MCC planning and engineering officials to Government buildings to meet with the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross. We were there to address the issue of funding for Meath's roads.

    There was fantastic energy in the room from the Meath contingent who presented a thorough and realistic case to the Minister. There are several vulnerable points in our road network in Meath primarily that of our regional and local roads which are under growing pressure.

    The nature of our transport needs in Meath is entirely unique to that of other counties, given the rate of our economic and population growth - the fastest growing in the country. Minister Ross showed a great interest in our country's situation, which he indicated to be a ‘compelling case’. He will be considering any further assistance his Department may be able to provide.

    For the last number of years Meath has received funding and investment which has regularly been increased by between €1-2 million on the basis of appeals by MCC and public representatives. While I welcome the continued positive response from the Department and its respective Ministers over the years, this is not a sustainable means of addressing our deteriorating local and regional road networks in Meath.

    A long-term county wide plan is something which was requested at this week’s meeting – a recommendation which was certainly welcomed and agreed on in principal. MCC has committed to working closely with the Department to ensure that this plan is as efficient and comprehensive as is necessary.

    Meath’s population continues to grow which, coupled with recent national and multi-national investment from companies such as Facebook, Shire and Avoca, is in urgent need to be met with adequate investment on our road network. This critical national infrastructure is paramount and is the basis on which people travel to work, goods are transported to and from the county and visitors arrive from near and far. If we want our economic growth to continue we must provide the necessary foundation upon which this growth will take place – connectivity.

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