It’s extremely disappointing the recent news that the government have refused to grant funding for the Sallins bypass, Osberstown interchange and M7 widening projects. Minister Pascal Donohue confirmed in Dáil questions last week that funding would not be forthcoming for these projects. The total cost for all 3 projects was estimated at €110m.
These are absolutely vital projects, not just for Sallins and the Naas area, but for the whole county. I know the Sallins bypass is eagerly awaited not just in Sallins and the immediate area where it will bring huge relief but right across North Kildare where everyone knows the journey time it will take to get past and into Naas or out the far side. Sallins village itself is stuck in a warp also that every single planning project is told it can happen after the bypass. Local business organisations, residents, the whole community is up in arms over this abandonment of Sallins and the Naas area.
The M7 widening is badly needed also, already we can see after Newlands cross the bottleneck just reopens at Naas when the road narrows.
I specifically brought a motion to the November meeting of Kildare County Council calling for funding for these projects to be advanced and for the council do explore every means possible to draw down funding. I was advised by officials that the Department of Transport was actively engaged in arranging funding at that time. I have continually called for this as I knew until the whole jigsaw was put together we could not let it rest. The council has done its part and has advanced to a very detailed design with the approval of An Bord Pleanala. The council is ready to go, we need government to now keep their side of the bargain. It beggars belief that with 5 out of 7 government TDs in Kildare, not a single one could deliver on this.
As always, I remain absolutely determined this project will proceed. It looks, however, that it will take a change of government to now make it happen.