Dismay that Ardee Link Road denied park & ride
Mid Louth councillors have reacted with dismay that a national pilot park and ride scheme for the M1 will see the new facility operated at Junction 16 and not the Ardee Link Road.
Up to €300,000 has been secured for the project.
Director of Services Catherine Duff has told councillors that the council had considered the options and felt the numbers at J16 and J17 outweighed the numbers at J14 - Ardee - and they went for that area.
Cllr Jim Tenanty said he had been working on the issue for a long time, even speaking to one landowner who would have been agreeable to talk to the council about a land purchase close to the junction. But he hadn't even been contacted.
He said there was no bus route in the area of the new park and ride either.
'How was the decision reached?,' he asked, adding that there were 30 to 40 cars parked close to the Stabannon and Dromin junctions each day.
Ms Duff said that there was a need on the Ardee road too and it may be considered at some other stage, but the logic is that people will 'migrate' to the new facility from the other junctions. 'They said people would not migrate that far south (Ardee junction).'
'The Monaghan traffic and the M1 traffic can benefit from a park and ride on the N33,' Cllr Colm Markey stated.
Cllr Tom Cunningham said the facility should have been centred in the county as the further north it goes, it suits people from other counties.
'The problem we have is that there's all day parking on the streets of Ardee. 70 spaces are gone by 6am and if we bring in pay parking, they'll have to go somewhere.'
Ms Duff said if this was a success, a case could be made for the N33 and Drogheda.
Cllr Dolores Minogue felt that the Ardee exit was the best place for the park and ride, as it would also facilitate cars coming from the Drumcar Road and it was a direct route to Monaghan and the north. She felt the junction for Stabannon is a nightmare for motorists.
'It is disappointing that Mid Louth loses again,' Cllr Pearse McGeough concluded. 'The Ardee road was the logical location.'