Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has today (Tuesday) described as monumental the decision by Government to proceed with the long awaited and much needed ring road around Athy, the Southern Distributor Route (SDR).

“Following repeated representations and lobbying funding has today been confirmed to commence and complete the Southern Distributor Route (SDR) for Athy following the confirmation of a State Stimulus Package. The town of Athy has waited 40 years for such a decision and it’s positive impact is going to be felt by Athy residents and businesses alike.

“Until now this project has been stalled due to arguments over different route options and failure to secure the necessary funding for Athy during the boom years. This Government is now progressing the project just as we emerge from the Troika programme and the worst financial crisis in the history of the state.

“The announcement today, means Kildare County Council will now be given the funding to move the SDR project to the detailed design and planning stage, but also is a commitment by Government to commence and complete the SDR.

“I acknowledge the role played by my colleagues on Kildare County Council, in particular Cllr. Richard Daly who has raised this matter at every single monthly meeting of the Athy Area Committee for the last number of years along with present chair of that committee Cllr. Ivan Keatley. I also acknowledge the partnership of our coalition partners in Government, Labour and that of Jack Wall TD.

“When elected to the Dail just over three years ago I was asked to set out my priorities for the term ahead. I listed the Southern Distributor Route for Athy as my number one infrastructural project for Kildare South. I am delighted that this Government has now succeeded in that goal. I will continue to work to bring employment and investment to the greater Athy area, a task I believe that will be easier following this historic investment by our Government.