Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sinn Féin welcomes N11 project, but local jobs needed

Sinn Féin in County Wexford have welcomed the deal that was signed to complete the Rathnew to Arklow bypass on the N11 in Co. Wicklow. However the party is looking for assurances to be given that locals will be employed on the project and that guarantees will be given that at no point in the future will tolls be introduced.

Speaking after the deal was signed spokesperson for the party in North Wexford, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin said "I warmly welcome the signing of this contract, its been long awaited and unfortunately we have had far too many false dawns on this scheme in the past. The deal involves the construction, operation, maintenance and financing of the 16.5 kilometres of four-lane dual carriageway linking the existing Arklow Bypass with the existing Rathnew/Ashford Bypass in Co.Wicklow. The contract has been awarded to BAM civil limited in a public private partnership and is worth 282 million euro. It’s expected to create up to 1,000 jobs during development of the Bypass which is being bundled in with the N7 Newlands Cross free-flow system in west Dublin. I think its important that the vast majority of these jobs go to people in North Wexford and South Wicklow who have the necessary skills and that the materials for the project would also be sourced from suppliers in both counties."

Ó Súilleabháin continued " CSO figures (last July) showed an incredibly shocking figure of 46% of under-25's unemployed in County Wexford - the third highest in the entire country. North Wexford has been turned into an economic wasteland. What the people of both counties want now are guarantees that some of the thousands of unemployed people from the area will benefit from the construction of the dual carriageway.Guarantees are also needed that at no point in the future will the road be tolled."

"We have been told that the provision of tolls are not to be implemented at this point, however we need assurances, that at no point in the future will they be installed on the N11. The signing of the contract is welcome if somewhat long overdue." Ó Súilleabháin concluded.

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