Martin Heydon Fine Gael TD for Kildare South has today (Wednesday) said that the inclusion of the Athy Southern Distributor Route in the Governments Capital Plan announced this week re-affirms the Government’s commitment to this project and the confirmation of funding to completion announced last year.

“Unlike the M7 road widening project, the Athy road does not yet have planning permission. Last year’s funding confirmation allowed Kildare County Council to take this project off the shelf and prepare a planning application for An Bord Pleanala. The project was stalled before that commitment of funding was announced last year.

“Once funding was confirmed by Government, Kildare County Council had the go ahead to proceed with the road.  Since that time, Clodagh Lyons has been appointed as the Council’s dedicated project engineer on the project with ROD/AECOM appointed as consultant engineers. They have updated previous traffic surveys, and are now preparing a new traffic model and updated environmental impact statement with a focus on getting a planning application published and lodged as soon as possible.

“The ball is now firmly in Kildare County Counil’s court to deliver this road to planning and construction as soon as possible.  There is no impediment from Government for its delivery.

“It is up to the elected Councillors of the Athy Municipal District and us as Oireachtas members to now hold Kildare County Council to account on the progress of this road.  No councillor should think they can absolve themselves of that responsibility by criticising the project like a spectator on the side-line.”