independent

Monday 18 June 2018

M11 service station is delayed by a year

The unfinished service station
The unfinished service station

Sara Gahan

It looks like it could be another year before the M11 Service Station at Ballyellen, Gorey, will open its doors.

An official from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) responded to Cllr Malcolm Byrne's ongoing queries suggesting 'works would commence on-site around the middle of 2018, allowing for the Design Period' after contracts are signed by TII and construction 'would be expected to be completed within three to four months'.

A challenge in the commercial courts has delayed the station's opening, but negotiations with TII and the preferred bidder have now resumed after the dispute over the Gorey site was settled in May of last year.

'The building has been left as a white elephant for years and Transport Infrastructure Ireland have been paying thousands per month to provide security,' said Cllr Byrne. 'I hope the negotiations finish promptly.'

Sean O'Neill, PRO for TII, said legal action has delayed it all, 'but the preferred bidder is now going through the process award of tender, so everything is back to normal'.

'I can't give an exact timeline,' said Mr O'Neill. 'I will only know early in the New Year around the end of January.'

Building work was completed on site in May 2015 and Topaz submitted the preferred tender to run it. In August that year it was challenged in the courts by the SuperStop 2 Consortium, involving Applegreen and Tedcastles Oil Products.

The official from TII reported to Cllr Byrne 'TII is working with the preferred bidder on all documentation which is required to close this contract'.

Meanwhile, TII spend almost €500,000 on security and lighting at three unopened motorway service sites, which included Ballyellen in Gorey, Kilcullen in county Kildare and Moate in county Westmeath.

The largest portion of these costs are at Gorey, where the unopened station has constant security and a lighting system since 2015.

The Oireachtas Transport Committee is planning to call in TII to explain the spend, which is rising by €15,000 a month, and it is expected senior officials will appear before the committee early next year.

Gorey Guardian

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