Deputy Jackie Cahill is making efforts to ensure that TII and the Department of Transport select the route for the new Cahir to Waterford road, rather than leaving the consultation and selection process unfinished, after it recently emerged it is their intention to do so.
Deputy Cahill has spoken directly to the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin on the issue and will also be raising it in the Dáil later this week. He is calling on the Government to make the additional funding available to finish this process, so that the region can have some certainty as to where the new road will be situated when it is finally developed.
Speaking on this today, the Fianna Fáil T.D. for Tipperary said: “The Cahir to Waterford road is an essential piece of infrastructure both for Tipperary and for the whole country. With the strategically important role that Rosslare Port now plays in a post-Brexit EU, the N24 is now the main artery linking continental Europe to the West of Ireland. The case for the major development of this road could not be stronger or clearer.
“The people of the region are obviously disappointed by the lack of willingness to invest in this key piece of infrastructure from Cahir to Waterford at the moment, but as well as this huge disappointment not to act with haste in constructing the new road, TII have now revealed that the selection of the preferred route is also being delayed. This is inaction of the highest order and is leaving local people, families and businesses in limbo.”
According to Deputy Cahill, there are three potential corridors for the new road, and the surrounding areas of each corridor will see a complete halt to all building and development until such a time as a final decision is made on which corridor will host the new road from Cahir to Waterford. He said: “It is inconceivable that TII could leave people in a complete state of limbo for years, until they make the final decision as to which route the new road will eventually follow. It’s wrong and unjust.
“It is imperative that TII continue with the consultative process that was in train until last December and pick the route as soon as possible. They need to select the route, give certainty to the people in the areas affected, so that local people can build houses and other developments. Pausing development indefinitely in a region simply cannot be allowed to happen.
Deputy Cahill continued to say: “I have spoken to the Taoiseach directly on this issue today and I will also be raising it this week in the Dáil. The Taoiseach has said that he will speak to Minister Eamon Ryan in relation to it also, and I appreciate his efforts in this respect.
“I have made it very clear to my colleagues in Government that it is not acceptable that TII can freeze a large area like this indefinitely and prevent individuals and families from building houses, or farmers extending yards, or businesses from developing and expanding commercial infrastructure.”
Deputy Cahill went on to state that the lack of funds being made available to TII to complete the consultative process and select the preferred Cahir to Waterford route must be reviewed and the decision revised in order to provide certainty for the region.
Cahill stated: “I believe the Cabinet should reconsider this issue and ensure that the necessary funding is provided. Considering the amount of money that has already gone into this project to date, from consultations, to planning, to designs, to archaeological processes, it makes absolutely no sense to leave this job unfinished.
“If TII and the Department are allowed to do this, it will leave families, businesses and the entire region in a state of limbo for years to come and this simply will not be tolerated”, Deputy Cahill concluded.