Friday, 8 December 2006

Ferry Plan devised to alleviate traffic congestion

THE car ferry company says it has devised a plan to alleviate traffic congestion in Passage East until it can move its terminal out of the village.

Passage East Car Ferry Company MD Derek Donnelly said they were hoping to arrange a meeting with the district Garda chief, Supt. Dave Sheehan, and representatives of the protestors over the next week about their proposed traffic management plan.

In the meantime, Mr Donnelly said the company was continuing to lobby to secure the go ahead for the proposed access road to the new ferry terminal site it has earmarked about a mile upriver from Passage East.

We have had a very worthwhile meeting with Wexford Co. Manager Eddie Breen and his view is that any interruption of the ferry service would be an economic disaster for south Wexford. He is throwing his full weight behind lobbying the Department of Environment for funding.”

Mr Donnelly said he was sorry the protests had flared up again and objected to the fact that they were in the form of blockades of the ferry service.

Anybody is entitled to protest about something they disapprove of and make their point. But its a different matter when you are obstructing people using the public road.

Having said that, I share the common interest of the protest group. We want to get the traffic out of the village as well.

Mr Donnelly said they were willing to fund some of the cost as well as pay for the installation of the slipway but it wouldn be economically viable or practical for them to pay for the entire project as advocated by Cllr. John Carey.

He dismissed Cllr. Careys argument that the road should be funded by the company and its main shareholder FDB Insurances on the basis that its purpose was to serve a private company.

The ferry was a vital part of the regions transport infrastructure and the cars that used their service paid €30m in road tax a year, said Mr Donnelly.

œIf you look at Waterford Airport, nobody is demanding that the airports shareholders pay the huge cost of improving its access road. This kind of infrastructure is the responsibility of central government

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