Thursday, 15th January 2015

“The M7/M9 upgrade is badly needed to ease traffic congestion in Kildare”, according to Martin Heydon and Anthony Lawlor, Fine Gael TDs for Kildare South and North respectively. The Kildare Deputies were speaking ahead of their joint Topical Issues Debate on the proposed road upgrade, with Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe in the Dáil today (Thursday).

The project received planning permission in the Autumn and now needs approximately €110 million in funding to commence.

Deputy Heydon said:

“There is an urgent need for work to commence on the Naas to Newbridge Bypass Upgrade and that is what I am highlighting with the Minister tonight in the Dáil. The upgrade of Newlands Cross eased traffic on the M7 nearer Dublin, however the reality is that the traffic congestion is now pushed further down the road towards Naas.

“This is the second busiest road in the country after the M50 and this situation cannot continue.

“The traffic is a nightmare for commuters in South Kildare and badly affects business productivity also. We must keep in mind that this road upgrade would not only be beneficial for Kildare. We are talking about the main road network between Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Businesses depend on this road for their livelihoods.”

Deputy Lawlor said:

“I have previously spoken to the Taoiseach about the importance of the Sallins Bypass/ Osberstown Interchange and the M7 widening for Kildare and I am raising it in the Dáil again tonight as it is needed as a matter of urgency.

“Congestion in the Naas area has reached unsustainable levels and something must be done.

“The road upgrade would also be good for jobs in the area. 6,000 jobs are planned for the North East Quadrant of Naas with this major road project.

“A high quality road network is crucial for attracting inward investment and creating employment and both the IDA and Enterprise Ireland have expressed their support for the project. The latest unemployment figures show that since the launch of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in February 2012, unemployment has dropped by 14% in Kildare. Our target is now to reach full employment by 2018 and infrastructure projects such as the M7/M9 upgrade are crucial to that success.”