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Councillors want N81 back on national agenda

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Cllr Gerry O'Neill

Cllr Gerry O'Neill

Cllr Gerry O'Neill

Renewed efforts are to be made to put the upgrade of the N81 on the agenda at a national level by local councillors.

During a discussion on the roads report at their July meeting, Councillor Gerry O'Neill (Ind) said the Baltinglass Municipal District was in a strong position because five of its members were part of political parties currently in government.

'We are in a strong position to let the Minister know we are serious about the upgrade of the N81,' he said.

Cllr O'Neill added that there was a need to 'get the N81 back on the table' at national level. Increased levels of traffic on the route were a concern due to the high levels of quarrying in the area and a new application submitted by Roadstone for a landfill site.

Cllr O'Neill said he wasn't opposed to the landfill as other projects had created open spaces for the community. However, the route was likely to be busier and there was a need to 'tackle the road once and for all'.

He called on his fellow councillors to do whatever they could do to get the upgrade back on the national agenda.

Councillor Patsy Glennon (FF) suggested that the Baltinglass Municipal District should approach the new Minister for Transport and request a meeting about the N81.

'The N81 needs to be put back in focus at a higher level than us,' Cllr Glennon added.

Cllr Avril Cronin (FG) asked if letters had been sent by Wicklow County Council to its neighbouring local authorities to ask for their support in this matter.

Garvan Hickey, district administrator, said letters had been sent to neighbouring local authorities.

Carlow and Kildare County Councils have agreed to bring motions forward while South Dublin County Council has asked that a request come from Wicklow County Council to have the matter discussed.

Cllr Glennon also noted that Wicklow now had two Ministers in the cabinet and suggested that members try to get their support to have the N81 'on the agenda as it's been rumbling on for years'.

Wicklow People