By Cllr Stephen McKee
Road Safety Through Donacarney
Work is ongoing on the pedestrian crossing and the road safety measures that I strongly lobbied for in Donacarney. I am pleased that the speed ramp on the Colpe Road on entry to Donacarney seems to be having a positive impact in slowing down traffic. These road safety improvements will be of benefit to many local families. A large number of residents in the area had contacted me with their concerns.
I am now calling on Meath County Council to install further speed ramps, on the road down to Donacarney National Schools and beyond the Community Centre on the Garra Road heading to Mornington. I am also keen to see the footpath put in place between Dun Cairn down to the main junction as a matter of urgency to facilitate the many families using this road and particularly parents and children attending The Beeches Montessori. I will keep the pressure on and I wish to thank Meath County Council for supporting me on these issues.
Footpath Between Grange Rath & The Mill Road
I am delighted to inform readers that the temporary footpath across Colpe railway bridge is to be extended down to the back of Gaelscoil An Bhradáin Feasa to allow families and children to safely walk from the Colpe area down to the schools on the Mill Road. Long-term, a permanent footpath will be provided as part of the new business park development across from the car wash but this extension of the temporary path should make a difference in the short-term once pupils return safely to school.
Boyne Greenway Update
An Bord Pleanála have written to Meath County Council seeking further information on the project. This will significantly delay the final decision. Some issues raised by An Bord Pleanála relate to the sensitive Special Area of Conservation along Tower Road, Mornington and the Habitat Directives protecting wildlife.
I support the project and the potential it has as an important local recreational and tourist route. It is important too however that the project commands the support of those who live along its route and who will be directly impacted by it. I believe further modifications should have been made by Meath County Council particularly along Tower Road where residents are concerned about losing parts of their front gardens and boundary walls amongst other issues. I am backing local residents in having these issues resolved to their satisfaction.
Proposed Park & Ride Facility At Southgate & Train Station At Colpe
As part of the ongoing County Development Plan meetings, I have proposed a Park & Ride Facility opposite Southgate that has the potential to solve parking issues in the area and also boost employment opportunities within the Southgate centre. There are close to 400 workers employed in Southgate and parking issues impact on those businesses, on local residents, the travelling public and on the prospects of creating future employment. With the expansion of DART services to Drogheda, I also put forward a proposal to locate a train station in the Colpe area which would serve local residents. Both proposals will be considered as part of a Transportation Study that is currently being prepared for the South Drogheda/East Meath area and will go before the meeting of the Joint Urban Area Plan that will be put in place between Louth and Meath County Councils. I will continue to put forward strong proposals that seek to improve the quality of life of local residents and attract employment to the area.
New Library & Community Building For Bettystown
I have been told that the Tender has gone out for the construction of the new Library & Community building on Bettystown seafront. The closing date for the Tender is March 02nd 2021. The Council aim to appoint a contractor and commence works during the Summer.
The 700 square metre Library will include a community meeting room, public library areas, meetings rooms, study and multi-purpose rooms, a lifeguard station and public toilets. The facility will also have disability changing space and will accommodate beach wheelchairs with ramp access onto the beach. The facility is planned to accommodate local civic, community and cultural events and will be a very important addition to the area.
As part of it, I have proposed that a business hub be included in the plans for the building.The new facility has the potential to not only be a place for community use but also as a base for local people in business who wish to avail of broadband, meet like-minded individuals and share ideas and support one another. With more and more people able and wishing to work from home, we need to do all we can to provide opportunities for local people to work locally. I would like to see space provided to start-ups and local SME’s to help such businesses start, scale and expand. There is opportunity to do something very creative with the new building.
I am aware of some issues that local people have raised with me, in particular car parking and I share that concern that has not yet been addressed.
Mornington Dunes, The Crook Road & Bettystown Beach
At our most recent Council meeting, I again raised the issue of the ongoing damage being done to the dunes at Mornington due to unrestricted vehicle access to them. The dunes area is a designated Special Area of Conservation and is protected under EU Law. The inaction on this is nothing short of a disgrace and I am pursuing this further along with local residents. It is clear that part of the problem is the ban on cars on Bettystown beach which has led to increased parking along the Crook Road with a small minority driving onto the dunes.
To resolve the parking issues at all our beaches, I have again proposed the following to Meath County Council in advance of the busy Spring & Summer months ahead;
- That the Council retain a section of the beach to the right on entering Bettystown beach at Seaview for age friendly and disabled parking. I fully support the availability of age friendly and disabled parking on the beach.
- That the Council develop the strip of land between the barber’s shop and the Convent on the Golf Links Road as the best possible site for beach-front parking onto Bettystown beach giving residents direct access from their cars to the sand. I have suggested that this area could also be used for parking for the new Library. The footpath already there would make it easily accessible. I have asked the Council to install boardwalks and public lighting to help solve at the same time the ongoing littering and anti-social behaviour problems at this location.
Footpath/Cycleway From Woodgrange To Colpe
I am very pleased that work on the new footpath and cycleway from the entrance of Woodgrange up to Colpe is due to be completed by mid-February. This is another local project that I worked hard on to deliver for residents. This means that Woodgrange residents will shortly be able to safely access Southgate Shopping Centre by footpath.
Footpath Works In Coney Hall
I am told by Meath County Council that the footpath works that I secured for Coney Hall will commence once the current Level 5 restrictions are eased. There are many footpaths within the estate that are in need of repair so I am looking forward to this work taking place as soon as possible.
New Footpath/Cycleway Between Donacarney National Schools And Bettystown Cross
We were informed by Meath County Council at our last Council meeting that a flood risk assessment report has been prepared and a report from the Heritage Officer is needed before the project can go to planning. It is proposed to resurface the road hand-in-hand with the footpath. As a past-pupil of Donacarney National School, this issue has been a priority for me over the last few years, so I am keen to see the work commence with the agreement of local residents to ensure that children can get to school safely and that residents of Donacarney can safely access Bettystown by foot or bicycle also.
You can call, text or WhatsApp me directly on 086 0432760 or should you prefer, email me at email@example.com or through Facebook at Cllr Stephen McKee. I am able to provide all state documents/applications via email and WhatsApp. Take care, Stephen.