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Postponement leaves Ross visit pushed back to August

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Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

The scheduled visit of Minister Shane Ross to Ardee today has been postponed, with the Minister for Transport now set to visit Ardee in August instead.

Ross was due to visit the town this afternoon to speak with local representatives who were seeking to impress on him the need for progress on issues such as the proposed western bypass of Ardee and the development and opening of Ardee Castle.

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ThisIsArdee.ie learned this morning that the Minister will now not visit Ardee but it is thought he will follow through on the agreement to visit the town in the next number of weeks. His visit to Ardee was initially supposed to be part of a wider visit to Louth. He was due to come to Drogheda to discuss the impact of toll slips on businesses and traffic on Boyneside.

The hope in Ardee is that a visit from Minister Ross can see first hand the problems that Ardee suffers from, namely chronic traffic backlogs. Ross has previously spoken out on the subject of the proposed Ardee N52 western bypass – saying that no funding would be made available for work to start on the N52 bypass due to it not being included in the 2015-2021 capital funding programme.

The two locally based Independent councillors Jim Tenanty and Kevin Callan had been seeking a meeting with Ross since last year, when they felt that his appointment as Transport Minister could benefit Ardee and give them an avenue of communication to a top level member of the cabinet.

The invitation of a meeting with the Minister has also been pursued by Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue through her colleague Fergus O’Dowd TD. After the six Ardee Municipal District councillors met with Transport Infrastructure Ireland in April, she said, “That decision [to allocate capital funding for the project] lies with Minister Ross and I have requested a meeting with him through Fergus O’Dowd.”

“The Ardee bypass is shovel ready and the land has been CPO’d so it’s just a matter of funding now,” Minogue told ThisIsArdee.ie last week. “In the grand scheme of things, the funding isn’t that much.”Minogue also said she would like to raise the need for filter lanes on the N2 north of Ardee and the need for traffic lights on the N2 between Collon and Slane with the Minister.

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