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N2 - Slane Bypass [planning decision pending]

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    etchyed wrote: »
    That's about all I needed to know. I don't really have the time or energy to go through all you've said in detail. Others here are doing a far better job of it than I could.

    It was hypocritical of me to insult you. I apologise. What I was trying to point out is that, having read this forum for a few years, argument around here tends to be quite detailed, fact-based and well-reasoned. Some of the mistruths and speculations you're posting are more likely to be picked apart with a fine-tooth comb here than elsewhere. Basically, you're not gonna get away with bull****. Just letting you know.

    Apology accepted, and thank you for the advice and for being concerned about this issue.

    You are right about the need for fact-based arguments. I believe I made them, and backed them up with either reference, or expert opinion, but I will map them out again shortly, and just ignore the trolling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,814 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    tuathal wrote: »
    Planning permission was granted for the M3 that was supposed to cost 600m. By completion, it had cost 900m.

    Please explain how any of this additional cost was caused by delays to the M3, when there were none.

    Supposed to cost at planning permission stage means nothing, it is only based on preliminary designs. Most of the project was probably redesigned due to conditions imposed by the planning permission. Under a fixed price contract, the contractor is bound by the actual tender sum (which would be lowest of all the tenderers) and not by preliminary estimates. The increase in cost you highlight is not an overrun of the contract sum, it may have cost the contractor €1.2bn to construct the road but they are only entitled to €900m under the fixed price element of the contract.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Then there is the 100m extra in shadow tolling...so a billion...for a road that wasn't needed, which we will all be paying for, for the next 40 years.

    AFAIK this is not an increase in cost of the project. We always had to repay the full cost of the contract, only now we have to pay some of it a little earlier than expected.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    MYOB wrote: »
    Cost to who?

    You tell me. There was roughly a 50/50 split of construction costs between the PPP company Ferrovial and the taxpayer, although we don't know the exact split because the NRA refuses to publish the contract.
    MYOB wrote: »
    Stop inventing things and putting words in my mouth. I said that SOME costs were down to delays.

    You didn't offer any other explanation. Do you have one?
    MYOB wrote: »
    I never attributed all cost increases (which weren't cost increases to the state, anyway) to this.

    Yes, they were increases to the State, of at least 150m. If you disagree, please provide a reliable source.

    This is particularly critical, since since as you pointed out, this was supposed to be a fixed price contract, being signed in 2007.
    MYOB wrote: »
    So the extra delays caused by "Squeak" Feeney are just a figment of my and the entire medias imagination? Not to mention every other protest.
    The M3 motorway was a 60km road, the longest in Ireland ever built. The girl in question went into a tunnel for about 24 hours, in one tiny section of the road. Are you seriously trying to say this delayed the construction of the road?

    The M3 contract was divided into 5 sections. Section 2, which had the Hill of Tara, was the first section to be completed. So, how could it have held up the road?

    There was no injunction on the M3, and the only major delays was caused by the NRA and Dick Roche, who stopped works for a few weeks in one section.

    So, again, please explain how this road went from 600 to 900 million euros.
    MYOB wrote: »
    The only troll around here is you. A manager of a campaign against a road who won't show his cards but claims other people have "vested interests" or are "government mouthpieces" or members of Fianna Fail pretty much defines a troll.

    Trolling - Ignore


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,496 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    tuathal wrote: »
    Yes, they were increases to the State, of at least 150m. If you disagree, please provide a reliable source.

    You are the only one making this claim, hence the entire onus is on you to prove the claim.
    tuathal wrote: »
    This is particularly critical, since since as you pointed out, this was supposed to be a fixed price contract, being signed in 2007.

    Firstly PPP contracts are not covered by the GCCC system.

    Secondly, YOU are the ONLY person claiming the state had to pay ANYTHING more than the contract price and you aren't providing ANY information to back it up. And yet you claim you're proving everything...

    Its yet another of your fantasies.
    tuathal wrote: »
    The M3 motorway was a 60km road, the longest in Ireland ever built. The girl in question went into a tunnel for about 24 hours, in one tiny section of the road. Are you seriously trying to say this delayed the construction of the road?

    The overall obstruction, time where she endangered her life for no good reason and the time after where work had to be suspended added up to a LOT more than the closer to 72 hours she spent below ground.

    And ONCE AGAIN, this was just one of the many delays caused by protestors. These add up.
    tuathal wrote: »
    The M3 contract was divided into 5 sections. Section 2, which had the Hill of Tara, was the first section to be completed. So, how could it have held up the road?

    Because they concentrated on this section first.
    tuathal wrote: »
    So, again, please explain how this road went from 600 to 900 million euros.

    The pricing of the road is irrelevant if it didn't affect the state.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Trolling - Ignore

    Being accused of trolling by a troll is like being accused of vested interests by a vested interest. Oh, which you already did.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Supposed to cost at planning permission stage means nothing, it is only based on preliminary designs.

    Tell that to the Department of Finance. The NDP was a financial plan, and a certain portion of the budget was allocated to the NRA on the basis of costings. The number of roads to be built was based on NRA costings. Then, the actual costs were roughly four times what was projected. Where did that additional money come from? Wasn't the cost/benefit analysis for the entire roads programme astronomically off base?
    Pete_Cavan wrote: »

    Most of the project was probably redesigned due to conditions imposed by the planning permission.

    I disagree, the case of the M3, because the planning conditions were minimal.

    However, I agree with you in the case of the N2 Slane bypass. Costs there are likely to skyrocked, because of the numerous conditions that will be imposed. Not only is the road intruding on the Unesco World Heritage Site (audibly, visually, and so on) but it is going through the Boyne Blackwater candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
    Pete_Cavan wrote: »

    Under a fixed price contract, the contractor is bound by the actual tender sum (which would be lowest of all the tenderers) and not by preliminary estimates. The increase in cost you highlight is not an overrun of the contract sum, it may have cost the contractor €1.2bn to construct the road but they are only entitled to €900m under the fixed price element of the contract.

    This is all speculation, because the NRA won't release the contract or the exact figures.

    We don't even know if the M3 was a fixed price contract, although it clearly should have been.

    All we know is what we read in the papers, which say that the cost went from 600 to 900m, and that there was a roughly 50/50 split in construction costs. So, any cost increase to the contractor was also bourne by the taxpayer.

    Then, we do know that there is a clause that provides for direct payments from the exchequer to the tolling company, in the event that traffic falls below 25,250. It has, so on top of the additional unexplained construction inflation, we have the taxpayer handing out more money today to compensate the tolling company for their additional, unexplained costs of construction.
    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    AFAIK this is not an increase in cost of the project. We always had to repay the full cost of the contract, only now we have to pay some of it a little earlier than expected.

    Again, you are assuming that the M3 was fixed price contract. I am not so sure it was.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    Okay, mod-cap on here. I haven't received any reported posts so far, and that's a good thing. But! The only one around here who gets to decide whether or not someone is a troll is me. I don't believe anyone is trolling here, so stop hurling that slogan at each other. The debate is heated, and that's fine.... but don't stray into ad hominem territory please. If you have already done so, please do not do so again.

    A few dispassionate comments:

    As I see it, Tuathal is actually providing references and is frustrated that no one is refuting his points with references in return. His posts are well structured and to call him a troll is wrong, just as it is wrong to call MYOB a troll. Neither are. I would say, though, that (in general) a faulty or biased reference is not better than no reference. Misinformation should be corrected (and is being corrected); but ideally the correction should be backed up with an authoritative reference where practicable. This is not a requirement for posting here, but it would make things easier for everyone.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    MYOB wrote: »
    You are the only one making this claim, hence the entire onus is on you to prove the claim.

    The final cost of the M3 is cited in Frank McDonald's 2010 Irish Times article, 'Transport policy based on outdated projections':
    The NRA is so embarrassed by the relatively few drivers using the new M3 (cost: €900 million) that it hasn’t published a count.

    The original cost was supposed to be €600m, according to Tim O'Brien, in The Irish Times, writing about the proposed Outer Orbital route in 2005:
    It will be the biggest road project built in the Republic and compares with the 60km (37 miles) of motorway and 50km (31 miles) of ancillary roads involved in the proposed €600 million M3 through Co Meath.

    So, we have established that the M3 went from €600m projected, to €900m actual cost.

    The next question is, 'why did it increase in cost?' So far, there has been no logical explanation, based in fact, given.

    The next question, is 'who bears the cost of that increase?' If the M3 contract is a fixed price contract, then it should certainly be borne by the contractor, but that does not seem to be the case. especially if, as MYOB claims, PPP contracts are not subject to MCCC contract conditions and fixed price requirements. Again, we are in the dark because the NRA and the Minister refuse to publish the contract.

    What we do know is that any cost/benefit analysis that was done to justify the M3 in the first place, was fantasy.

    We also know that MYOBs main argument, that environmental campaigners held up delivery of the road, and added significantly to the cost is complete nonsense.
    MYOB wrote: »

    Firstly PPP contracts are not covered by the GCCC system.

    So, its looking like it wasn't a fixed price contract, and the taxpayer has to refund the contractor for the 300m increase in construction cost for the M3.
    MYOB wrote: »

    Secondly, YOU are the ONLY person claiming the state had to pay ANYTHING more than the contract price and you aren't providing ANY information to back it up. And yet you claim you're proving everything...

    Yes, I am claiming that the taxpayer is liable for the at least 50% of the increase in costs, based on the information that is available to me.

    I could be wrong. It could be 300m, but there is no way the risk is being borne by Ferrovial.

    To remind you, they weren't going to sign the contract at all unless it had the minimum traffic guarantee in it, which guarantees the contractor at least 90% of his investment back, even if the road is unused. The additional 150/300m is part of that investment.
    MYOB wrote: »

    The overall obstruction, time where she endangered her life for no good reason and the time after where work had to be suspended added up to a LOT more than the closer to 72 hours she spent below ground.

    Part of that was Friday and Saturday, ie the weekend. Even if it was 72hrs, it is nothing compared to the months that the NRA held up the road, digging up Lismullin national monument.
    MYOB wrote: »

    And ONCE AGAIN, this was just one of the many delays caused by protestors. These add up.

    Most of the protests took place on the side of the N3, not at construction sites.

    They add up to diddly.

    Where did the 300m increase in cost REALLY come from?
    MYOB wrote: »
    Because they concentrated on this section first.

    Wrong. All the sections were excavated and built simultaneously, by different sub-contractors.
    MYOB wrote: »
    The pricing of the road is irrelevant if it didn't affect the state.

    It does, and it will for the next 40 years.
    MYOB wrote: »
    Being accused of trolling by a troll is like being accused of vested interests by a vested interest. Oh, which you already did.

    Ignoring.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    Furet wrote: »
    Okay, mod-cap on here. I haven't received any reported posts so far, and that's a good thing. But! The only one around here who gets to decide whether or not someone is a troll is me. I don't believe anyone is trolling here, so stop hurling that slogan at each other. The debate is heated, and that's fine.... but don't stray into ad hominem territory please. If you have already done so, please do not do so again.

    A few dispassionate comments:

    As I see it, Tuathal is actually providing references and is frustrated that no one is refuting his points with references in return. His posts are well structured and to call him a troll is wrong, just as it is wrong to call MYOB a troll. Neither are. I would say, though, that (in general) a faulty or biased reference is not better than no reference. Misinformation should be corrected (and is being corrected); but ideally the correction should be backed up with an authoritative reference where practicable. This is not a requirement for posting here, but it would make things easier for everyone.

    Thanks Furet, I will refrain from using the term again, but continue to ignore the personal abuse as best I can. Cheers


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    This (below) is a correct link to what Frank McDonald said. Frank McDonald is the only person to have mentioned a figure of €900m for the M3 project ( and ancilliary work like the Kells and Dunshaughlin bypasses) and Frank does not mention a source for this assertion.

    http://m.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0728/1224275616458.html

    In that exact same article Frank uncritically says the cost of building Metro North will be €4.6bn. Frank does not mention that traffic rose on certain motorways in 2010, eg the M4/M6 and also on alternative toll dodging routes to the M4 such as the one through Clonard Co. Meath.

    Frank is quite possibly the greatest, most farsighted and principled journalist that ever put pen to paper on transport matters outside the M50 in Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,496 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    tuathal wrote: »
    The next question, is 'who bears the cost of that increase?' If the M3 contract is a fixed price contract, then it should certainly be borne by the contractor, but that does not seem to be the case. especially if, as MYOB claims, PPP contracts are not subject to MCCC contract conditions and fixed price requirements. Again, we are in the dark because the NRA and the Minister refuse to publish the contract.

    PPP contracts are, effectively, always fixed price in that an agreement on what the state pays is produced up front. Either the state agrees to pay an amount per annum over the length of the contract, or allows the concessionaire to charge for usage; or pays upfront or stage payments and allows the concessionaire to charge for usage.

    The contract is not going to be published as it is commercially sensitive. The NRA is in the middle of tendering for other PPP projects and it would be insane to allow them to know exactly what it paid elsewhere.
    tuathal wrote: »
    We also know that MYOBs main argument, that environmental campaigners held up delivery of the road, and added significantly to the cost is complete nonsense.

    So the delays they caused were time- and cost-neutral then? How?

    And since when has that been my main argument?
    tuathal wrote: »
    So, its looking like it wasn't a fixed price contract, and the taxpayer has to refund the contractor for the 300m increase in construction cost for the M3.

    Looking to you, as you so very much want that to be the case.

    There is a snowballs chance in hell that the state had to cover any over-runs.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Yes, I am claiming that the taxpayer is liable for the at least 50% of the increase in costs, based on the information that is available to me.

    I could be wrong. It could be 300m, but there is no way the risk is being borne by Ferrovial.

    You have not one shred of evidence to suggest that the state is liable for one cent of the over-run.

    The 600M was the expected cost of the project before it ever went to construction. For all we know, the concessionaire expected it to cost 900M from day one.

    Until you have even that one shred of evidence, I suggest you drop the topic. You're going up this path to distract us from your patently ludacrious claims of the cost of the Slane BP.
    tuathal wrote: »
    To remind you, they weren't going to sign the contract at all unless it had the minimum traffic guarantee in it, which guarantees the contractor at least 90% of his investment back, even if the road is unused. The additional 150/300m is part of that investment.

    There were four groups looking for the contract. Eurolink were cheapest when everything was taken in to consideration. The price (in terms of toll cost, extra funding, revenue share, etc) of the other 3 was higher even with the minimum traffic guarantee

    Would you have preferred the state had to put, say, 150M extra up front to DirectRoute rather than hypothetically, worst case scenario, putting 100M in over 40 years?

    Do the maths. This was the cheapest option.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Part of that was Friday and Saturday, ie the weekend. Even if it was 72hrs, it is nothing compared to the months that the NRA held up the road, digging up Lismullin national monument.

    Living near by the project, I can tell you that they worked 7 days a week.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Wrong. All the sections were excavated and built simultaneously, by different sub-contractors.

    Excavation may have been done simultaneously, but construction was not. There were sections with there final layers of tarmac in place and central barriers built before they had even diverted traffic off the path of the motorway at Dunboyne.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Ignoring.

    Ignoring me would involve not replying to my posts, you know that?


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Do Remember that in 2005 and 2006 the M2 was under construction and 2005 is the earliest possible date that land acquisition could have started.

    However some money ( say €10m) was spent on the M3 up to and including 2004. The Archeology and Geotechnical were done from 2005 onwards.

    In 2005 Meath County Council Got €89,176,321 for new National Roads
    In 2006 Meath County Council Got €80,569,800 for new National Roads
    In 2007 Meath County Council Got €55,892,600 for new National Roads
    In 2008 Meath County Council Got €35,770,000 for new National Roads
    In 2009 Meath County Council Got €45,613,080 for new National Roads
    In 2010 Meath County Council Got €31,851,000 for new National Roads

    This is a total of €339 Million in 6 years ( and not just for the M3) so how did we get that to €900m then??


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,496 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    More importantly, how do we get to 150-300M *extra*.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,814 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    tuathal wrote: »
    Tell that to the Department of Finance. The NDP was a financial plan, and a certain portion of the budget was allocated to the NRA on the basis of costings. The number of roads to be built was based on NRA costings. Then, the actual costs were roughly four times what was projected. Where did that additional money come from? Wasn't the cost/benefit analysis for the entire roads programme astronomically off base?

    Previous cost over runs on projects were due to the ability of the contractor to claim for increased cost. The GCCC contracts were introduced in 2007 for publicly funded construction projects, and are fixed price lump sum contracts which removes the ability for contractors to claim for increased cost. Since the introduction of the GCCCs a lot of the projects have come in ahead of schedule and/or under budget (M3, M6 Athlone to Ballinasloe, M8 Portlaoise and Cullahill).
    tuathal wrote: »
    I disagree, the case of the M3, because the planning conditions were minimal.

    However, I agree with you in the case of the N2 Slane bypass. Costs there are likely to skyrocked, because of the numerous conditions that will be imposed.

    So you think there were "minimal" planning conditions which could have contributed to an increase in costs attached to a 60km motorway yet you expect costs to "skyrock" for 3.5km of dual carriageway in the same general area? Serious flaws in your logic there.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Not only is the road intruding on the Unesco World Heritage Site (audibly, visually, and so on) but it is going through the Boyne Blackwater candidate Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

    I am also opposed to the construction of the Slane bypass but I refuse to use this argument because the road is to be built outside the buffer zone. As regards the SAC, they are par for the course at this stage and any self respecting company tendering for this road will have some sort of environmental management system, such as ISO 14001. The contractor would also have to appoint specialist archaeologists and ecologists who would be vetted as part of the tender process. My opposition is based on the fact that there is already a half a billion euro motorway 10km east of the village and I dont see why we should spend €20m on a road to accommodate toll dodgers (counter productive IMO).
    tuathal wrote: »
    We don't even know if the M3 was a fixed price contract, although it clearly should have been.

    You dont understand. It was a PPP contract which means that the winning consortium (which is the cheapest due to the competitive process) finance, design, build and maintain the road and this all included for under one contract between the consortium and the government. It is not linked to construction costs.
    tuathal wrote: »
    All we know is what we read in the papers, which say that the cost went from 600 to 900m, and that there was a roughly 50/50 split in construction costs. So, any cost increase to the contractor was also bourne by the taxpayer.

    As I said before the preliminary estimates have no bearing on the actual contract figure. The €900m was the cost at the time of signing the contract and did not change since then. The contractor carries all the cost of increased construction costs, like I said it could have cost €1.2bn to build it. The onus is on them to stay within budget.
    tuathal wrote: »
    Then, we do know that there is a clause that provides for direct payments from the exchequer to the tolling company, in the event that traffic falls below 25,250. It has, so on top of the additional unexplained construction inflation, we have the taxpayer handing out more money today to compensate the tolling company for their additional, unexplained costs of construction.

    Again, additional payments are not due to increased construction costs. In order to recoup the costs of the project (all costs including design, financing and maintenance not just construction) the consortium was to receive all revenue from tolls. If this fell below a certain figure, they would be compensated. This does not guarantee they will make more money as they are still getting repaid the value of the contract (€900m).
    tuathal wrote: »
    Again, you are assuming that the M3 was fixed price contract. I am not so sure it was.

    I am not assuming anything, I am telling you how it works.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Do Remember that in 2005 and 2006 the M2 was under construction and 2005 is the earliest possible date that land acquisition could have started.

    However some money ( say €10m) was spent on the M3 up to and including 2004. The Archeology and Geotechnical were done from 2005 onwards.

    In 2005 Meath County Council Got €89,176,321 for new National Roads
    In 2006 Meath County Council Got €80,569,800 for new National Roads
    In 2007 Meath County Council Got €55,892,600 for new National Roads
    In 2008 Meath County Council Got €35,770,000 for new National Roads
    In 2009 Meath County Council Got €45,613,080 for new National Roads
    In 2010 Meath County Council Got €31,851,000 for new National Roads

    This is a total of €339 Million in 6 years ( and not just for the M3) so how did we get that to €900m then??

    Small Correction for 2005 2006 2007 2008

    In 2005 Meath County Council Got SOURCE)
    In 2006 Meath County Council Got Allocated €80,569,800 for new National Roads and got €82.5m in the end (SOURCE)
    In 2007 Meath County Council Got Allocated €55,892,600 for new National Roads and got €52m in the end (SOURCE)
    In 2008 Meath County Council Got Allocated €35,770,000 for new National Roads and got €58m in the end (SOURCE)

    Still under €400m though.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    The N3 Belturbet Bypass includes a 140m Erne bridge and the 210m Aughnaguig Bog Bridge in a 7km long project overall. Estimates are that it will cost €40m total. It will be 2 Lane as will the N2 Slane Bypass most likely. Luckily I did not get those estimates from Frank McDonald. :D

    http://www.etenders.gov.ie/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=AUG167683&catID=1
    The N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet Road Improvement Scheme comprises the construction of approximately 6.7 kilometres of standard single carriageway and includes a bypass of Belturbet town. The mainline is generally 7.3m wide with 2.5m wide hard shoulders 3m wide verges on each side.
    The existing landscape of the area is characterised by drumlins with intervening areas of loughs and areas of very soft ground. Areas of very soft ground include Aghnaguig bog, Putiaghan bog and others.
    The Scheme passes in close proximity to Aghnaguig bog which is part of Lough Oughter & Associated Loughs candidate Special Area of Conservation (cSAC) containing the Annex 1 habitat Bog Woodland.
    Two significant bridge structures shall be provided as part of the proposed Scheme:
    River Erne Bridge - this proposed bridge structure consists of a three span extrados bridge of prestressed and reinforced concrete construction. The proposed bridge is approximately 141m long between centreline of bearing at abutments and shall include a clear span (approximate length = 70m) across the River Erne.
    Aghnaguig Bog Bridge - this proposed bridge shall be a three span bridge of minimum length 210m and shall mitigate the impact of the proposed Scheme on the bog woodland priority habitat in the townland of Aghnaguig.
    The Contract shall comprise the design, execution and completion of the N3 Butlersbridge to Belturbet Road Improvement Scheme, including without limitation the provision of:
    - Approximately 6.7 kilometres of standard single carriageway national primary road;
    - Approximately 0.23 kilometres of reduced single carriageway regional road;


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭D'Peoples Voice


    did I hear the word 'bog' again:eek:


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Not really, Tuathal believes this bypass will cost €100m where the Belturbet Bypass at twice the length and with 2 bridges including a 200m long 'bog bridge' will cost no more than €40m


  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    You see I don't like unsubstantiated facts and figures being thrown around like they were confetti. In this regard I have problem with some of the posts being made by tuathal because as far as I can see a number of the facts in those posts don't stand up to scrutiny.

    First we had the figure €24 billion of wastage with regard to the roads programme. When I asked for an explanation of this figure there was a bit of a backtrack. The C&AG report indicates an overspend of around €8 billion on the first phase of the road building project. Of that figure it accepts that a certain amount is due to land price inflation and expanded scopes so the figure of €8 billion which was repeated in a later post is not all wastage.

    With regard to the new funding in 2007 a later post states that the NRA can spend around €8 billion of the money raised. However it should be pointed out that significant portions of this money are on programmes that weren't in the original building programme so again not all of this is wastage. So the figure of €24 billion, or subsequent quoted figure of €16 billion, of waste is complete nonsense.

    Now I'm not denying that there were major cost overruns on the early stages of the road building program but from what seems to be the case in the recent past the new projects have been coming in on budget. To suddenly assume that this bypass will completely overrun on costs by a factor of 5 to 10 doesn't seem that logical to me. It will be allocated on a fixed-price basis and there is no reason to assume that it won't come in on that cost.

    With regard to the potential loss of World Heritage Site status the following are the facts. The road will be 500 yards from the buffer zone, at least 1.5 km from Knowth and 4 km from Newgrange. Perhaps some people consider that too close but in terms of the actual World Heritage Site it is outside the protected zone as laid down.

    A look at the report produced by UNESCO-ICOMOS in 2004 about the potential building of a waste incinerator by Indaver Ireland (http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2004/mis-659-2004.pdf) reveals the following paragraph -

    3.2 Slane bypass
    The mission was informed that a new bypass is planned for the village of Slane immediately west of the inscribed World Heritage site which will require the building of a new bridge over the River Boyne. This new piece of infrastructure clearly needs to be evaluated for its possible impact and the mission urges the State Party to ensure that this forms part of the Environmental Impact Statement and informs the World Heritage Centre of its outcome.


    Now the EIS does take the World Heritage Site into consideration and claims that there isn't significant intrusion. I have no doubt that opponents of the plan don't agree with those claims but until a report is produced to disprove this conclusion, all we have is statements made by people who are not disinterested parties and therefore I'm not inclined to give them a huge amount of consideration irrespective of their credentials.

    I don't know however if the government has passed on the results of the EIS as they were urged to do in the report and have been given the all clear on this. I can't find any information about that but one tends to hope that they did. Personally I think that if the World Heritage Centre came back to the government and said the building of the bypass would result in loss of World Heritage Status, the government would revise the plan. There is no way that they would allow this to go ahead in that instance. If those opposed to the bypass on these grounds are so sure of their case why have they not made some representation to the World Heritage Centre? It would seem to be a logical step to take. And if they have made such representations then what was the response?

    I just feel that its too easy to make perjoritive or emotive statements or conjectures as fact.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 51 ✭✭tuathal


    Great post Jayuu. I will answer it and others later on, but I have to head down to the District Court to watch the corruption charges against Jim Kennedy and the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael county councillors accused to taking bribes to rezone lands at Carrickmines.

    In case you don't remember, this was involving Jackson Way lands, across the road from the Carrickmines Castle national monument, which lay in the pathway of the M50/South Eastern Motorway.

    bentley_FMG_722289t.jpg
    Irish Independent - Bentley does it for Kennedy court appearance

    Naturally, this type of thing would never happen in Meath...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    tuathal wrote: »
    Great post Jayuu. I will answer it and others later on, but I have to head down to the District Court to watch the corruption charges against Jim Kennedy and the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael county councillors accused to taking bribes to rezone lands at Carrickmines.

    In case you don't remember, this was involving Jackson Way lands, across the road from the Carrickmines Castle national monument, which lay in the pathway of the M50/South Eastern Motorway.

    bentley_FMG_722289t.jpg
    Irish Independent - Bentley does it for Kennedy court appearance

    Naturally, this type of thing would never happen in Meath...

    ...and hopefully it's Mountjoy for them - AFAIK, the only reason why the M50 went through Carrickmines is because DLR County Council / NRA would have been sued big time by developers - if that is the case, I hope that gets a mention. What a cheek - land owners/developers on one hand benefiting from the motorway, but on the other, demanding compensation thereby ripping the country off on the double (land/house prices and litigation). I wonder if, upon conviction, the state can sue the land owners and developers etc involved.

    However, motorists should not be punished for the crimes of developers, land owners and speculators - we still need (and are owed many times over - Road Tax, VAT, VRT, Excise Duty etc) a decent road/motorway system. We should not blame the tools for the mess this country is in!

    Regards!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    Sponge Bob has a thread on Carrickmines here. Posts about that should go there. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 111 ✭✭Slane Resident


    Coming back to this post after a while and I have to say, I'm highly amused (sorry MYOB) to find somebody else in receipt of the "you don't agree with me, therefore you're a Fianna Fail/NRA government stooge" argument. :rolleyes:

    Could all people who agree with the Slane bypass please contact me at the local Fianna Fail Cumann to sign up for membership, as it appears that Fianna Fail membership appears to be a prerequisite to actually supporting the need for this bypass?!

    (Sarcasm there, in case it went over certain people's head. I am not a FF member/voter/whatever).

    @Etchyed, you should be aware of some points in relation to the Unesco link which was posted. This has been posted before by Save Newgrange members to support an assertion that they make that Unesco is considering altering Bru na Boinne's World Heritage Status. Read the link - seriously. There is absolutely NO MENTION of revoking the heritage status anywhere in the document.

    As an example of the way this report has been misappropriated, Vincent Salafia posted on the Save Newgrange The Facts site:

    "...the inscribed area was rapidly being devalued to the point where continued inscription should be questioned."

    However, it was pointed out that the full paragraph read:

    "The mission received conflicting opinions on the effect of this development, ranging from the view that the inscribed area was rapidly being devalued to the point where continued inscription should be questioned, to the view that the local community, whose applications are ‘not discouraged by successive development plans, are faced with objection from the state, even for individual family homes’.

    You should also note in the conclusion of the Unesco report (which is about the impact of the incinerator in Duleek, by the way, NOT about the Slane bypass), it states:

    "Having visited the site and examined all available planning documents as well as the different viewpoints expressed by the stakeholders, the mission has come to the opinion that the current application will not have a major effect on the outstanding universal value and the visual integrity of the Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne (Ireland)."

    These reports get linked in the hope that nobody will actually have time to read them.

    Also I'd like to clarify a point in relation to the Bypass Slane group. It was formed in April 2009 after a horrific nine vehicle accident which occured on 23rd March 2009 when several mothers, a grandmother, and at least two pre-schoolers on their way home from the Slane school run were waiting at traffic lights on the hill when a lorry's brakes failed, and careered into the stationary cars. Thankfully another lorry was on the road and the first lorry, on crashing into that lorry, came to a stop, otherwise the consequences could have been much more serious. The point that people like Tuathal don't seem to get is just how unbelievably awful it is living in Slane, driving to and from the school, to and from the shops, even just trying to cross the road to the playground, while constantly watching the road behind you, leaving a gap in front of you and planning which pavement to mount if you need to avoid an oncoming runaway lorry.

    The point has been made several times by Save Newgrange members that the meeting room above the Village Inn, whose address the Bypass Slane group use, is a room which is made available to many community groups in Slane. Instead it is taken as evidence of a Fianna Fail plot (isn't everything :rolleyes:). I know the founders of the Bypass Slane group. They're mothers, not politicians.

    I would also like to say that I've never been involved in anything political before. I'm a mother who became involved in this, on the periphery, simply because I live in Slane and would like to get my children to school safely, and because I couldn't believe the absolute rubbish that was being spread around about the situation. I never realised I was so naive; I never would have comprehended such personal vicious attacks, such complete and utter fabrications and the amount of ad hominem attacks made by anyone who disagrees with the SN's completely false assertions. It has been a complete eye-opener, I have to say.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Funnily Enough the only time I remember that bypassing Claregalway got serious media attention was when the mammys and their prams were out blocking the road in force.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,814 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    Coming back to this post after a while and I have to say, I'm highly amused (sorry MYOB) to find somebody else in receipt of the "you don't agree with me, therefore you're a Fianna Fail/NRA government stooge" argument. :rolleyes:

    Could all people who agree with the Slane bypass please contact me at the local Fianna Fail Cumann to sign up for membership, as it appears that Fianna Fail membership appears to be a prerequisite to actually supporting the need for this bypass?!

    (Sarcasm there, in case it went over certain people's head. I am not a FF member/voter/whatever).

    @Etchyed, you should be aware of some points in relation to the Unesco link which was posted. This has been posted before by Save Newgrange members to support an assertion that they make that Unesco is considering altering Bru na Boinne's World Heritage Status. Read the link - seriously. There is absolutely NO MENTION of revoking the heritage status anywhere in the document.

    As an example of the way this report has been misappropriated, Vincent Salafia posted on the Save Newgrange The Facts site:

    "...the inscribed area was rapidly being devalued to the point where continued inscription should be questioned."

    However, it was pointed out that the full paragraph read:

    "The mission received conflicting opinions on the effect of this development, ranging from the view that the inscribed area was rapidly being devalued to the point where continued inscription should be questioned, to the view that the local community, whose applications are ‘not discouraged by successive development plans, are faced with objection from the state, even for individual family homes’.

    You should also note in the conclusion of the Unesco report (which is about the impact of the incinerator in Duleek, by the way, NOT about the Slane bypass), it states:

    "Having visited the site and examined all available planning documents as well as the different viewpoints expressed by the stakeholders, the mission has come to the opinion that the current application will not have a major effect on the outstanding universal value and the visual integrity of the Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne (Ireland)."

    These reports get linked in the hope that nobody will actually have time to read them.

    Also I'd like to clarify a point in relation to the Bypass Slane group. It was formed in April 2009 after a horrific nine vehicle accident which occured on 23rd March 2009 when several mothers, a grandmother, and at least two pre-schoolers on their way home from the Slane school run were waiting at traffic lights on the hill when a lorry's brakes failed, and careered into the stationary cars. Thankfully another lorry was on the road and the first lorry, on crashing into that lorry, came to a stop, otherwise the consequences could have been much more serious. The point that people like Tuathal don't seem to get is just how unbelievably awful it is living in Slane, driving to and from the school, to and from the shops, even just trying to cross the road to the playground, while constantly watching the road behind you, leaving a gap in front of you and planning which pavement to mount if you need to avoid an oncoming runaway lorry.

    The point has been made several times by Save Newgrange members that the meeting room above the Village Inn, whose address the Bypass Slane group use, is a room which is made available to many community groups in Slane. Instead it is taken as evidence of a Fianna Fail plot (isn't everything :rolleyes:). I know the founders of the Bypass Slane group. They're mothers, not politicians.

    I would also like to say that I've never been involved in anything political before. I'm a mother who became involved in this, on the periphery, simply because I live in Slane and would like to get my children to school safely, and because I couldn't believe the absolute rubbish that was being spread around about the situation. I never realised I was so naive; I never would have comprehended such personal vicious attacks, such complete and utter fabrications and the amount of ad hominem attacks made by anyone who disagrees with the SN's completely false assertions. It has been a complete eye-opener, I have to say.

    Fair enough, you made some good points and I agree with everything that was said. However, I am still opposed to the Slane Bypass. This has nothing to do with the Unesco World Heritage site. My opposition is based purely on the fact that there is no need to spend at least €20million on a road to bypass one town when there is already a motorway 10km away. This money could be better spent adding a third lane to more of the M1. Most of the traffic currently causing the problems in Slane does not need to go near the town and only does so to avoid the M1 toll. I have already explained how toll dodgers can be diverted onto the old N3 at Navan with relative ease, although I dont see why we should be spending money on anything to accommodate toll dodgers. IMO tolls should be adjusted to encourage people to use motorways, especially for trucks. Get the trucks out of our towns which cant take them and onto the motorways which we have ready spent billions building, or in this case get them out of Slane and onto the M1.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,870 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    I keep saying it on this thread but the Slane bypass is NOT a priority for the government as its a toll-dodge route. The problem is the M2 and Ashbourne bypass, which funnel a motorway into Slane.

    What should happen I think is that an S2 bypass of Slane should be built, not 2+2.


  • Registered Users Posts: 111 ✭✭Slane Resident


    tuathal wrote: »
    The proposed bypass will intrude upon the World Heritage Site, directly. It will be visible, audible, and entail demolishing a number of archaeological sites that are related to Newgrange.

    I've just seen this and I'm wondering, Tuathal, what archaeological sites that are related to Newgrange are to be demolished?

    It's just that earlier on, in this post or another on this forum (I can't remember now, but can find out if necessary) you mentioned Ledwidge Cottage with the implication that it will be damaged, or at least impinged upon.

    It may interest you to know, as you don't seem to know Slane at all, that the custodians of Ledwidge Cottage are very much in favour of the road as it will improve access and parking issues and therefore hopefully increase the number of visitors to the Cottage. At present the Cottage is accessed along a narrow part of the Navan/Drogheda road with practically no parking (there is a grass verge where a couple of cars, at most, can pull in). With the new bypass in place, access will be much simpler and safer.

    So - what archaeological sites will be demolished exactly? (And please don't just trot out the "44 sites of archaeological interest" which just numbers the sites within 500 metres of the road, because of those sites, 34 will not be impacted at all, two will be impacted directly, 8 will be impacted indirectly. Of those 8, 3 are sites of "archaeologial potential", one a confirmed archaeological site, one is a boundary and one is the site of a now demolished 19th century building. Oh yes, and one is the old Slane-Dublin road (ironic, or what?)

    Oh, and the proposed road will not be visible or audible from Newgrange. It may be slightly audible from Knowth, but less so than the existing road. It may be visible from Knowth, if you stand on top of the monument and use binoculars (seriously).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    In my mind, there's only one credible argument on this thread against the Slane Bypass - the argument put forward by Pete Cavan - he certainly has made some good points and very importantly, plausible alternatives.

    However, I'm still in favour of the Bypass as the people of Slane have waited for far too long - they were promised this road 20+ years ago. Also, 22 lives are far too many to let this project slip. With relatively small scale investment (additional lanes to M1 etc) and tolling agreements, the alternatives put forward by Pete Cavan might work and be of wider benefit, but could still only serve as a temporary solution. In normal situations this would probably be acceptable in the current economic climate, but the fact that the people of Slane have had 22 deaths on their doorstep (in the absense of a well overdue road that has been promised for so long) outweighs any argument whether it is good or not.

    Regards!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    A story from the week just gone:
    'Even-handed' hearing on Slane bypass promised

    ELAINE KEOGH

    THE ORAL hearing into the Slane bypass will be “even-handed” when considering whether an eastern or western route around the village is preferable, according to An Bord Pleanála.

    Confirming that the hearing into the proposed road will take place, probably next February, a spokesman said: “It will be an open and even-handed assessment on both proposed options.”

    There are more than 100 objectors to the bypass. The hearing is expected to hear strong arguments from opponents to the eastern route which runs close to the buffer zone of the Brú na Bóinne Unseco world heritage site that includes Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.

    The western route, which would dissect the Slane Castle estate and affect its famous concert arena, was rejected by the council in its environmental impact statement.

    However, in reply in the planning board, the council supplied additional information on this option.

    Slane is on the N2 and on a crossroads on the banks of the Boyne river and is approached by steep hills. The bypass would remove some of the 7,000 vehicles a day that pass through the village.
    ...
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/1122/1224283833710.html


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob


    Not a sign of Tuathal in THIS forum since he promised to "Get Back" to answering points raised in this thread on the 28th of October. How discourteous. :(


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  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭Jayuu


    Sponge Bob wrote: »
    Not a sign of Tuathal in THIS forum since he promised to "Get Back" to answering points raised in this thread on the 28th of October. How discourteous. :(

    Or possibly he realised that he wasn't going to convince us of his arguments. Sometimes you just cut your losses.


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