N53 disruption must be minimised - Adams
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called on Louth County Council and the NRA to “take whatever steps are necessary to ensure minimum disruption to the residents and users of the N53 when work commences later in the summer to realign 1.1 kilometre of the road.”
Gerry Adams last night spoke at a very well attended meeting in Naomh Malachi Clubrooms, Courtbane (Shelagh), Hackballscross last night, involving other local representatives, including Cllr Tomas Sharkey, Seamus Kirk TD and Peter Fitzpatrick TD. The meeting was called by Peter Finnegan and other local business people who are concerned at the social and financial implications of the planned roadworks which they have been told could see the closure of a section of the road for three months.
Gerry Adams said:
“Over many years I have used the Castleblaney Road countless times. It is always a very busy route but its use has increased significantly in recent years, especially because it provides motorway access to and from the M1. Five and a half thousand vehicles use it each day.
Sinn Féin has long supported the upgrade of the road. Councillor Tomás Sharkey has been especially active on this issue. The upgrade of the road is essential in terms of safety for road users; for those who live along it; and for the many farmers and businesses that use it. It is also a key route for the emergency services – ambulances, fire service and doctors.
It is also a vital road link for thousands of citizens each day. It connects communities and families and business.
However, the planned closure of the road for three months would create a major inconvenience and probably see some of the local businesses forced to permanently close. Peter Finnegan described a three month closure as ‘catastrophic for his business.’
The N53 will also be closed at a busy time for farmers and when the schools return in September many parents will find their journeys severely disrupted.
It is a decision which also fails to take account the state of the alternative routes that will inevitably be used and which cannot cope with the volume of additional traffic that this closure will force onto them. Roads which can barely service single line traffic will now see an increase in volume.
The Council, its’ Engineers and the NRA must acknowledge the enormous disruption their current plans will create and re-examine their approach with a view to keeping the road open during the planned roadworks. If it needs to be closed at all it should be for the least time possible.”