This subject is dear to the hearts of all Deputies in County Kildare, north and south, and I thank the Ceann Comhairle for affording me the opportunity to raise it once again. It is a matter of huge importance for alleviating the traffic chaos that currently exists in this location. It will also serve to address the problem of accidents, of which there have been many in the last couple of years due to over-crowding on the motorway. There is an under-capacity in the road network to meet the traffic challenges.
Everybody is aware of the chaos that existed at Newlands Cross for many years. People said that the overall problem would not be solved if the situation at Newlands Cross was dealt with but would only be moved further into the city or down the country. That was not true. The problem was solved in a dramatic way. The same applies to the Naas and Newbridge bypass, the Newhall interchange and the Sallins bypass. Each is a critical element in the alleviation of the traffic chaos that currently exists.
Obviously, it is the busiest motorway in the country and is probably the busiest of the motorways in a number of countries. In addition, the demands of Kerry Foods are coming on stream. It is located immediately adjacent to the motorway. The company is very concerned about the extra traffic generated by its development which will have to be facilitated. It is a prime industry that has moved to the area in recent times and it must be facilitated in so far as possible. Similarly, on a recent trip back from Cork late at night I counted 190 trucks travelling in the opposite direction. At various times of the day, and the transport business really gets going in the evenings, the number of heavy vehicles on the motorway multiplies dramatically.
I am aware that the Minister is faced with competing demands, but this demand is not simply local. It is also a regional demand. It will facilitate the traffic going between the city and County Kildare and Cork, Limerick and Waterford. The traffic chaos that has been a feature in the area in the past couple of years is generated by two factors. The first is volume, for which the motorway was not originally intended to cater, and the second is the increased traffic generated by business in the area. We are delighted to have the business and investment, which are hugely important for employment. However, it is equally important, now that the investment has occurred, that we put in place the necessary ancillary facilities to ensure its effective and efficient operation.
The Minister is well aware of the case I am making. It has been brought to his attention by all representatives from County Kildare in the past year or so. It is a priority issue for Kildare County Council and for businesses in the area. It would be of huge benefit for both heavy vehicular traffic and domestic traffic in the area if it could be found possible to approve the projects concerned. They are all intrinsic to the area and equally important. When approved, they will have a dramatic impact on easing traffic flows.