Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has this week confirmed his full support for the delivery of the long awaited Southern Distributor Route for Athy. Speaking at a special meeting of TDs, Councillors and Council Officials in Athy on Friday to discuss the project, Deputy Heydon confirmed that discussions are ongoing within Government to make progress on this vital project.

“I have had numerous discussions on this project with Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar who is acutely aware of the need for this road as soon as funds are available. The Cost Benefit Analysis report carried out by Kildare County Council strengthens our case and confirms the real economic benefit that will come to the town from the completion of the route.

“A small number of national transport projects have been progressed recently as PPP projects which are favoured by the Troika. These are generally in the region of €100m projects. The SDR should cost about €32m which is outside the scope of a PPP and would need alternative sources of funds. I have emphasised to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin the importance of finding funds for smaller regional road projects such as the SDR which would provide real economic benefits to regional towns and communities.

Speaking at the specially convened meeting, Deputy Heydon re-iterated that this project was the number one priority for him in this area and he was continuing to work on its progress as economic conditions improved.

“I am hopeful that we will see progress on this project in the lifetime of this Government” concluded Heydon.