Fianna Fáil will scrap key road projects given half a chance, a Fine Gael Minister has said.
Minister Patrick O’Donovan was responding to comments made by Deputy Timmy Dooley on the radio this morning in relation to prioritising the national roads programme. This follows on from Fianna Fáil’s support in recent days of a Green Party/ Social Democrats motion to delay or cancel key parts of the National Development Plan (NDP).
“We now know from the comments and actions of senior Fianna Fáil members that they will scrap key roads projects given half a chance.
“Mirroring the strategy of the Green Party, Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley said today that the national roads programme should be reprioritised.
“Fianna Fáil need to tell us which road projects they would like to abandon? The Limerick to Cork M20 motorway? The Galway city bypass? In my own local area we have the preliminary works for Abbeyfeale and Newcastle West. These are hugely important projects to meet the needs of local communities, not to mention business, agriculture/food and tourism.
“Public transport is a key component of Fine Gael’s plans. Metro, DART expansion, bus connects, cycleways, greenways all feature heavily in the NDP and the Climate Action Plan.
“However people will still need roads and we are committed to continuing the maintenance and improvements of Ireland’s road network. We are also encouraging people to use those roads in electric vehicles and the Government’s Climate Plan wants to move Ireland to a situation where electric vehicles account for half of all cars. We will bring 950,000 electric vehicles onto our roads, deliver a nationwide charging network, an electric vehicle scrappage scheme and legislation to ban the sale of petrol / diesel cars from 2030.
“It has now become apparent that Fianna Fáil do not support major national roads and transport projects. Last week (Thursday June 13), the Fianna Fáil party agreed to support a Soc Dems/Green party motion to identify which regional development projects will be delayed or worse, cancelled. Fine Gael are committed to improving transport and these projects will proceed under Government plans. It is clear now, Fianna Fáil are not.
“It is not just about building new roads, it is often about maintaining and improving our current network. Are Fianna Fáil against improving road safety? Are they against meeting the needs of isolated rural communities? Fianna Fail need to be clear with the public in relation to their stance on this.
“If Fianna Fáil return to Government, which of our crucial road projects will they cancel”, Minister O’Donovan asked.