18 November 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

FINE Gael Deputy Sean Conlan has stressed this week that the postponement of a £400 million funding allocation from the Irish Government towards the Northern Ireland section of the proposed N2/A5 cross-border dual carriageway project is “a financial necessity” given the state of the country’s finances and the difficult choices faced as a nation as to how scarce resources should be spent to the greatest benefit of all the people of Ireland.
Deputy Conlan insisted yesterday he is “opposed to this project progressing until such time as the economy improves significantly”.
Regarding the allocation instead of £50 million to the project in 2015 and 2016, Deputy Conlan added “The figure allocated shows that the government is still committed to upgrading and advancing sections of the N2/A5, but not until the economy improves to the point where the project can be justified.”
Deputy Conlan continued: “I have consistently said that, in a time of tight budgetary constraints, I would rather protect healthcare budgets and education budgets, rather than funding major infrastructural projects such as the proposed N2/A5 project.
“The maintenance of local and regional roads should, in my opinion, be the priority of the Department of Transport at this time.”
“The construction of major bypasses and dual-carriageways can only be justified to improve journey times and alleviate congestion when budgetary conditions allow”.
“It is false, as some politicians claim, that the postponement of this project will have a large detrimental effect on local employment—given the recent experience we had in relation to the Castleblayney Bypass, local people can see the false nature of this claim.”
“It is incredible that some local politicians and Oireachtas members, are in favour of the N2/A5 project going ahead at this moment in time at enormous additional expense to the Irish taxpayer, while at the same time, providing no credible solutions for fixing the budget deficit”.
“They clearly have not learned anything from the mistakes made by politicians over the past ten years, which led to the loss of our economic sovereignty by the last Government.”
“At County Council level Road Area committees exist, that are made up of local councillors who have control over road maintenance in their own areas. Some of the people championing the immediate advancement of the N2/A5 project should, in my view, be more concerned about upgrading the roads in their own areas of North Monaghan. These local councillors will be judged by the electorate on what they have delivered, in their own localities!.”

Comments are closed.