Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 8 Nov 1984

Vol. 353 No. 8

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Dublin Roads Network.


asked the Minister for the Environment the reason for the delay in sanctioning the decision of Dublin County Council to appoint consultants to design the section of the Southern Cross route from Ticknock to Loughlinstown; and the present position on the matter.

On 8 May 1984 the Department indicated to Dublin County Council that the local authority's proposal to appoint consultants to develop the south-eastern motorway route from Ticknock to Loughlinstown is regarded as premature and that it would not be possible to make road grants available to meet any fees or costs which the appointment would entail. The decision was taken in the light of existing and projected demands for road grant financing for other higher priority schemes in the Dublin area.

I am sure that the Minister is aware of the urgent need for proceeding with this road network. Can he give any indication as to the possibility of appropriate finance being forthcoming so that this appointment of the consultants may go ahead?

We do not consider the matter as one of the high priority matters for the Dublin area. We would regard it as a medium-term road proposal. Of course, it is open to the council themselves if they want to appoint consultants for the work and are prepared to finance the costs of consultancy out of their own programme. We would have no objection to that but, given the programme we have in hand for the Dublin area, we see this now as premature.

Having regard to the extra houses which are to be built in the Ballyogan area and also the major industrial site in Sandyford, does the Minister not realise that certain stretches of this area are good but that they come into bottlenecks? Does he not consider that such a situation should be avoided?

That is a fair speech, Deputy.

Will the Minister not consider whether this matter is one of greater priority than he has given to it to date?

I am always prepared to look at it and, in the light of any major developments, of course we would have to look at roads. However, the developments have not as yet taken place in the area the Deputy is speaking of. Given the substanial road works and the substantial funds made available for the Dublin area, this is not one of the matters that is on the forward plan, but in the light of what the Deputy has said I will have it examined again.

Would the Minister give us any indication of the cost of the proposal — in other words, what the cost of designing this section will be?

The local authority have asked to appoint consultants. They would have given us the cost. Because of the number of major road works in the Dublin area we are not imposing any more on the programme at the moment until we get in train what we have.

In other words, the Minister for the Environment is turning down this proposal from Dublin County Council on the basis of cost without knowing what the cost is.

No, we are turning it down on the basis that we do not see it as a matter of any great urgency. We have to take any road proposals on the basis of need. We do not see this as being a high priority need at present.

Is the Minister not aware that it is only good practice for both his Department and a local authority to plan ahead and to have available designs and plans of this sort so that when money becomes available they can be implemented? Would he not regard it as a radical new departure in local authority affairs not to sanction even the planning of roadworks which undoubtedly will become necessary in the immediate future?

As I indicated, the local authority can from their own resources take on consultants. We do not see in the programme we have that this road is near the list of priorities, and until we as a Department see otherwise we will not engage in expenditure that in the long term may not be required because of the number of roads in that area. A major extension is in progress where the south-eastern motorway runs through and we do not want to fragment an ordered development. I can see county councils and engineers wanting to move forward and there is no shortage of designs or proposals in any county council throughout the country. Therefore, we are not in any way impeded by lack of programmes or initiatives from local authorities throughout the country for more and more roads.

I think we should move on. This is an argument.

A little discrepancy is emerging here. The Minister would advert to the fact that the question refers to the reason for the delay in sanctioning the decision of Dublin County Council to appoint consultants. Am I right in assuming that the Minister is now saying that if the county council wish to appoint consultants and pay them out of their own resources he will not prevent them doing so?

That is right.

So there is no question of a delay in sanctioning the decision of the county council to appoint consultants.

The county council can do that without reference to us once they do it from their own resources.

Deputy Cosgrave will be very pleased to learn that the county council may proceed. Let me ask the Minister another question. In view of the fact that the document Building on Reality, if it did anything, placed its hopes of any sort of economic activity on the building of roadways, does he not regard it as a complete negation of that whole approach that county councils are not being given the money now to plan ahead and employ consultants to design roadways that will be required in the future?

The contrary is the position. We intend to announce shortly a programme of work on national primaries over the next three years. I should like to assure the Deputy that those substantial sums of money will generate much needed activity in the building industry. There is no question of awaiting proposals and this important programme will not be impeded in any way.


asked the Minister for the Environment when it is expected that the outstanding works will be completed on the Cabinteely by-pass in accordance with commitments made in the national plan.

The completion of the Cabinteely by-pass scheme is a matter primarily for Dublin County Council as road authority. I understand from the council that they expect to complete outstanding works south of Westminster Road by early 1985, and between Westminster Road and Knocksinna around the middle of next year.


asked the Minister for the Environment the present position with regard to the Blackrock by-pass; if he is aware of the serious traffic problems in this area, with the resulting inconvenience and loss of business to the locality; when this proposal will be completed; if he will ensure that the necessary financial aid is forthcoming so that there are no further delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


asked the Minister for the Environment if he is aware of the urgent need for the finalisation of plans, and the implementation thereof, for the Blackrock, County Dublin, by-pass; and if he will make a general policy statement on the matter.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 9 and 10 together.

I am aware of the need to provide a by-pass for Blackrock, County Dublin, and I have made road grants available to Dún Laoghaire Corporation to meet the preliminary costs associated with the scheme.

Certain properties necessary for the construction of the scheme are the subject of a compulsory purchase order which I have now confirmed. Dún Laoghaire Corporation as road authority will arrange for the execution of works which are expected to start next year.

I will make a road grant available to meet the approved costs.

Is the Minister aware that the Blackrock by-pass proposal has been up in the air, literally, for a long time? May I conclude from his response to my question that work will begin next year? Will the Minister tell the House when "next year" will be? Is the Minister in a position to say when work on the by-pass will be completed? I am sure the Minister is aware that it is one of the worst bottlenecks in the south county.

It is proposed to start the scheme in 1985 and complete it in 1987.

I accept that the scheme is to begin in 1985 but is the Minister in a position to give an approximate date? Will it commence in January, or December 1985? Perhaps it is due to commence on the last day of next year?

I am not putting a date on the commencement. The compulsory purchase order has just been confirmed. We have informed Dún Laoghaire Corporation of that. Work remains to be done before the scheme commences, but I should like to assure the Deputy that it will start in 1985 and be completed in 1987. I cannot give a specific month. The Deputies should be very happy with that assurance.

It appears that the prospects are that the people of south county Dublin may have a happy Christmas in 1985 or a happy new year in 1985. In other words, the Minister is suggesting the work may commence at the beginning of the year or at the end of the year.

I can assure the Deputy that people will have a happy Christmas in 1987.

I was glad to hear the Minister outline the proposals to my constituency colleague. What is the expected cost of the scheme?

It will cost roughly £3 million. A sum of £300,000 has already been notified in road grants, including £200,000 this year.

How much has been paid in compensation to those who have been deprived of their property in one way or another?

I do not have the breakdown.