Minister Ross is “one big disappointment” over Drogheda Fleadh 2018 toll – Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today lambasted Minister for Transport Shane Ross, saying that he is “one big disappointment as Minister”, after he refused to secure the removal of the sliproad tolls in Drogheda for the duration of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this August.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Deputy Munster accused Minister Ross of putting business before people.
Deputy Munster said:
“I met with the Minister in January. At my request, he committed to contact Celtic Road Group and Transport Infrastructure Ireland to examine the possibility of removing the sliproad toll for the week of the Fleadh, given that the main toll would remain in place, and revert to me by the end of February.
“Despite repeated requests for follow up, he ducked and dived until I had the opportunity to challenge him on it in the Dáil chamber today.
“It is clear that the Minister put little or no effort into securing the removal of the sliproad tolls, even for one week.
“There are over 400,000 visitors expected in Drogheda for the Fleadh in August and Drogheda is the only town in Ireland with a sliproad toll, where people are taxed to go from one side of the town to the other.
“Given the influx of people, removing the toll would have been of enormous benefit to the town, the traffic, and the smooth running of the Fleadh.
“Worst case scenario, by the Minister’s own estimation, it would have cost between €115,000 and €130,000 in compensation to CRG, the operator of the toll.
“Shane Ross is both Minister for Transport and Tourism. He appears to have no interest in either.
“Drogheda’s potential as a tourist destination could be affected by this if traffic congestion seriously disrupts the Fleadh.
“Transport Infrastructure Ireland have said this is doable. All that’s required is political will.
“Minister Ross made it clear today that he does not have the will to have the tolls removed for the week.
“Minister Ross has not only let the people of Drogheda down, he has also let the people of Louth down, as well as the expected 400,000 visitors to the county for the Fleadh this August”.