Independent Media Centre Ireland

Government Sitting on Tara Solution - Researcher

category international | environment | press release author Friday March 14, 2008 21:59author by Brian Guckian


For Release 14/3/2008

THE Cabinet has been sitting on a sustainable and practical solution to the problems posed by the construction of the M3 motorway since last September and has neither examined nor done anything to implement it despite overwhelmingly positive feedback, a co-author of the Meath MASTER Plan, independent transport researcher Brian Guckian, said today.

The MASTER Plan - standing for Model Archaeological and Sustainable Economic Region - is an advanced development plan that solves the current issues around the controversial M3 motorway without any re-routing, preserves the Tara Landscape as a cultural resource and provides a high-quality rail link serving the population centres of Ashbourne, Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells.

The Plan allows for conversion of the northern "footprint" of the M3 beyond Dunshaughlin to the "2+1" road format and the replacement of the section through the Tara-Skryne Valley with 2+1 on the existing N3 primary road. The modifications would be made possible by dramatically reduced traffic volumes brought about by the complementary rail and coach services which would operate at high-frequency and capacity.

These aspects of the plan would save € 350m in costs that would then be used to buy out the project's toll scheme and permit rapid re-construction of the nearby rail link, which has been delayed indefinitely due to competition from the double-tolled motorway.

Mr. Guckian said that the forthcoming economic downturn made future capital funding for any rail link additional to the M3 extremely doubtful, especially as a railway would also take lucrative toll revenue from the motorway, and also pointed to a study he completed in 2005 that showed the M3 in its current form would generate total costs, conservatively estimated, of at least € 5.6 billion over 30 years due to its CO2 emissions, increased fuel dependency and tolling arrangements.

He added that National Monuments in the Tara-Skryne Valley now under threat from the M3 motorway works could still be preserved and reconstructed using mechanisms provided in the MASTER Plan, and that there were sufficient remaining structures and archaeological data on hand to facilitate this work. The valley would then be protected, along with other important sites in the area, via designation of the region as a UNESCO World Heritage site called the Meath World Heritage Park.

The Plan was circulated late last year to the Taoiseach and to several Ministers including those with responsibility for Transport; Environment; Energy & Communications; and Arts, Sport & Tourism. It is also with Meath County Council and has been available to the public since its launch. A detailed Implementation Roadmap for the Plan was circulated to government departments prior to last Christmas.

Mr. Guckian said that there had been no negative comments made concerning the Plan by the relevant government departments and civil servants, and that it had been looked on extremely favourably. He said the Cabinet could implement the innovative ideas contained in the Plan, and modify the current M3 scheme in the national interest, at any time if they chose to. "It is simply a matter of will on the part of the Cabinet; it is a choice, and to say anything else is just an excuse", he concluded.



Brian Guckian 00 353 87 9140105

Comments (5 of 5)

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author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 19:03author address author phone


And demand that it be examined. I have not heard ANY feedback from any Government official re the Meath Master Plan even tough I have asked for this information on other sites. Are there any statements Mr Guckian ? Also, not everyone on Meath County Council is aware of it as only 2 weeks ago it was presented to a certain member who had been completely UNaware of it, not a clue! Had never heard of it. He has favoured it wholeheartedly since, like any intelligent human being would and has promised to get it a hearing, hopefully next week.

Best of luck . It's the only common sense left in all of this.

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author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 19:06author address author phone

I see there is a problem with that web page above for some reason. Information on the Meath Master Plan can be found at the link below.

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author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:55author address author phone

After ducking and diving and doing a splendid job of avoiding answering any questions relating to the Meath Master Plan, Noel Dempsey Minister for Transport recently gave the following reply to questions instigated by Tadhg Crowley and Brian Guckian and posed by Tommy Broughan Transport Spokesperson for the Labour Party in Parliamentary Questions:

259. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport the
progress made as part of the national transport policy in implementing
the sustainable rail and coach based transport system within the
proposed Meath master plan which modifies the M3 project and which will
reduce CO2 emissions and significantly improve quality of life for
people in County Meath, particularly in view of the recent Environmental
Protection Agency warning that based on current policy, the transport
sector’s contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions total here is
expected to rise to 22% by 2020; and if he will make a statement on the
matter. [40755/08]

Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey): I am aware of the
privately produced document to which the Deputy refers. All such
documents are, of course, considered in the development of transport

In the Meath and surrounding areas, Transport 21, the Government’s
ten-year financial framework for investment in transport infrastructure,
provides for a number of important projects, including the M3 and the
Navan rail line, which will enhance the public transport options for
people travelling to or from the county.

The M3 motorway from Clonee to North of Kells is currently under
construction and due for completion in 2010. Construction of phase one
of the Navan rail line from Clonsilla to Pace is now underway and has a
target completion date of 2010 also. Iarnród Éireann is currently
studying route options in respect of the second phase which will extend
the line from Pace to Navan.

My Department is also in the process of completing a Sustainable
Transport and Travel Action Plan that will, among other things, address
the measures necessary to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector.

Comments please ??????

Brian Guckian and Tadhg Crowley outside the Dáil with their plans for the MMP
Brian Guckian and Tadhg Crowley outside the Dáil with their plans for the MMP

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author by Tara Tara Tarapublication date Wed Nov 26, 2008 13:46author address author phone

Protesters at Kells earlier this year appeal to Dempsey to see sense.


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author by Wonderingpublication date Thu Nov 27, 2008 16:10author address author phone

By the time the next elections come around, and an inevitable change of Government is in place, will there still be time to implement the Meath Master Plan, or, will the works be too advanced by then ?

Personally I dont see Dempsey ever bowing to something he didnt dream up himself and thereby wouldnt have a stake in ...I may be wrong but....

I just keep giving myself hope with the thought of so many thousands of people outside the Dáil chanting

Greens and Fianna Fáil

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