Sinn Féin councillor Joanna Byrne says that the time is now for central government to listen to the people of Drogheda and deliver the Port Access Northern Cross Route, a major infrastructure project which would have myriad benefits for the town and it’s environs.
Speaking at Monday morning’s February meeting of Louth County Council, Cllr Byrne asked the question as to whether new funding has been sought under the second round of the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund. Applications for the new tranche of that funding opened at the start of the month.
Last year, the local authority unsuccessfully appealed the decision not to grant funding through the Urban Regeneration Fund, meaning the project which would link the M1 north of Drogheda to Drogheda Port and in turn create new neighbourhoods and urban areas in land north of the town, remained on the shelf.
Director of Services’ Frank Pentony and Catherine Duff both confirmed in response to Cllr Byrne’s query that the local authority were exploring the new avenues for funding. They also confirmed that a team is in place to work on a new funding bid for the project.
“[It is] such a significant project that it is essential for the development of Drogheda and South Louth. It is a vital piece of infrastructure that is needed on so many levels to take heavy goods vehicles out of the town and relieve traffic congestion,” Drogheda-based Cllr Byrne said.
“The people of Drogheda have been neglected for too long by central Government and on February 8 they elected, for the first time, three TDs based in the Drogheda area. It’s time that the Government listened to the people of Drogheda.”
Council officials confirmed that the closing date for applications is next month and Cllr Byrne reinforced the importance that the local authority ‘not be found wanting’ in getting the application submitted before the deadline closes.