Cllr Fintan Brett
Fintan Brett, one of the councillors whose vote will decide whether the Naas inner relief road goes ahead, has come out strongly in favour of the consultants’ preference.
The consultants have opted for a route which passes between Naas racecourse and houses off Dublin road.
It’s known as route 2 and will take traffic off Dublin Road at the existing junction with the Paddocks and on to Blessington Road.
A number of residents in that area are opposed to it - mainly because it goes close to their homes. They have been lobbying for an alternative route (6), which runs further from the houses and on the other side of the racecourse.
“I am 100% in favour of it; it is totally the right thing to do,” Cllr Brett, who has an engineering background, told the Leader.
If the councillors vote against it next month, no alternative route is available as a substitute.
He is the first councillor to publicly declare his support for the road.
While an outer (longer and more expensive) ring road is required for Naas, this project is needed in the short term, he believes.
He said the road will take a lot of traffic including heavy lorries off Dublin Road and he also said that many residents now opposed to the road knew some time ago it was planned for route 2. “They knew this would be where the inner relief road went,” he said.
The planned construction of houses in Tipper, including the area opposite the entrance to the racecourse will be in jeopardy, if the road doesn’t go ahead.
Cllr Brett pointed out that residents living in estates on Blessington Road will be able to access Dublin Road without dealing with the congested Blessington Road.
And trucks will also use the new route instead of travelling the length of Blessington Road.
“To me it makes sense; traffic volumes will drop by 30%-40% on Dublin Road, south of the racecourse.”
He also pointed out that Ballycane Road is part of the long term overall ring road system for Naas - but won’t happen if the relief road is voted by councillors.
“It’ll mean that all the traffic coming into Naas will continue to do all the way in to the Tesco junction before turning left or going through Naas.”
Cllr Brett said residents’ objections are understandable “but sometimes you have to see the bigger picture and this is one of those times.”