Independent Cllr Seamus Weir twice this week expressed his disappointment at the allocation of only €50,000 by Transport Infrastructure Ireland for the proposed Ballina Bypass. He hit out at the allocation at the Roads Strategic Policy Committee meeting as well as at the Ballina Municipal District.
At the SPC, Cllr Weir said that at a meeting with TII last year, councillors were informed that €2million was being allocated to the project for 2020 and he wanted to know what happened to the €2 million that had been promised.
He was told by Paul Hyland from Mayo County Council that even if €2million had been allocated for this year, it would not matter as the project would have to go through several phases of development before it got up and running. He said that the allocation for this year was to do an appraisal of the project - which would lead on to the next phases of the scheme such as constraints, route selection, planning and then construction and that it generally takes at least five years for a project to start and get through the whole process before going to construction.
An angry Weir replied: "I understand what you are saying to me, but we were at the meeting and we were told that there would be €2million; but whatever way you want to put it – they agreed we would have to put in a ring road around Ballina.
"Why come with 50k and not go in with the €2 million and get into action straight away? It was announced – this is very disappointing - the fact is that this is totally a necessity in the area and they did tell us that traffic control and congestion along with fatalities would be top priority; we all heard it with our own ears (at the meeting ), €50k - you would hardly visit the area to see it."