The road into Adare has been named by AA Roadwatch as one of the worst in the country in terms of traffic tailbacks, Limerick Fine Gael Deputy Dan Neville told the Dáil. It also appears on the AA’s list of the country’s seven slowest roads. The list was based on the findings of the AA and information from An Garda Síochána and the bus companies.
“None of this comes as a surprise to the people of Adare or those who use the road to commute because tailbacks have delayed traffic entering and leaving the town for a number of years,” he said.
Commuters travelling west experience great frustration, he said. Many commuters live in the West of the county but work in Limerick city and county roads can become problematic rat runs.
“Some 133 people signed a petition on the speed limit on such roads, but the council will not consider the matter as the difficulty only arises at certain times of the day,” he said.
“There are serious concerns about the safety of children and at certain times people cannot walk on these roads owing to vehicles taking short cuts. Many of the byroads in question are very narrow and one is especially dangerous.”
“I am making a case for Adare to be bypassed, which has happened in many other towns, including Castleisland,” he said. “Like any other bypass, the project must stand on its own. It has cost over €5 million to date all relating to plans - not one sod of earth has been turned.
“There is much tourist activity in Adare which could be enhanced by removing traffic from the village and facilitating local and tourist traffic. The demand for a bypass has been supported by Limerick County Council, the National Roads Authority and the previous Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Leo Varadkar.”
Replying on behalf of the Minister for Transport, Minister of State Kathleen Lynch said that within its capital budget, the assessment and prioritisation of individual projects are matters, in the first instance, for the NRA in accordance with section 19 of the Roads Act.
“The reality is the available funds do not match the amount of work required,” she said. “For this reason, it has not been possible to progress a range of worthwhile projects and the main focus has to be on the maintenance and repair of roads.”
The N21 Adare bypass route was intended to run to the south of Adare, she said. The compulsory purchase order and environmental impact statement documentation were submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval on 4 March 2010. On 18 October 2012 An Bord Pleanála made a decision to refuse the proposed road scheme to bypass Adare.
“While it cannot be argued that traffic is not an issue for residents and businesses in Adare, given the rejection of the preferred route by An Bord Pleanála, the National Roads Authority and the local authority have to assess options on the basis of that decision,” she added.
Working family will gain €100 per month - Minister Noonan
A working family with three children where both parents earn €50,000 each per year will have approximately €100 extra per month in their pockets as a result of Budget 2015, Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dáil.
Opening a debate on the Finance Bill, which implements the terms of the Budget, he said a fair, efficient and competitive income tax system is essential for economic growth and job creation.
“I have long said the burden of the income tax system in Ireland is too high and acting as a disincentive for work and investment in Ireland,” he said. “The income tax measures in the Bill are the first stage of a three year plan to reduce progressively the marginal tax rate on low and middle income earners in a manner that maintains the highly progressive nature of the tax system. As I outlined in the Budget, my Department estimates a three year reform plan along these lines could boost employment levels by as much as 15,000 jobs when the full impact of the changes has taken effect in the economy.”
He said the Bill provides for a reduction in the top rate of income tax from 41% to 40%. It also extends the standard rate band in which income tax is chargeable at the lower 20% rate by €1,000. Together with the accompanying reductions in the two lower rates of universal social charge, USC, and the extension of the threshold at which USC becomes payable, the Budget announcements provided for in the Bill will ensure all those who currently pay income tax and-or USC will see a reduction in their tax bill next year.