AFTER two years of uncertainty for residents and landowners, the preferred route for a controversial motorway from Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour was finally unveiled by Wexford County Council at the Ferrycarrig Hotel this week.
TDs and councillors got a sneak preview of the map on Monday morning before the exhibition was thrown open to the public for several hours on Monday afternoon and also on Tuesday.
On the map, the preferred route is shown as a 300-metre-wide corridor within which the road will be located – the additional width is to allow for flexibility during the final design of the scheme.
The initial reaction of the Joint Committee of Communities (JCC) against the motorway is one of relief that the proposed route is following the line of the existing road from Oylegate to Rosslare Harbour for much of the way.
'From that point of view, we are pleased common sense prevailed and that there will be a minimum of disruption for many people along the route,' said the JCC chairman Michael Carroll.
'But it should be pointed out that there will be a separate road of dual carriageway or motorway proportions running beside the existing route and this will affect more people and properties than is initially apparent.'
He said the committee is concerned for a number of landmark properties along the proposed route, including the Wexford Youths complex at Ferrycarrig Park, businesses in Oylgate which will be bypassed, the Danby Lodge Hotel, Killinick service station and Roche's service station near the Rosslare roundabout.
'It comes very close to Ferrycarrig Park and goes behind the Danby Lodge. The filling station in Killinick will be cut off, as will Roche's filling station. Businesses in Oylegate that depend on passing trade will also be badly affected. It will have a negative effect on them,' said the chairman.
'Overall we are pleased, but we are disappointed on a number of fronts, particularly in relation to the fact that the county council and the NRA are advancing the project to this stage at all given that they have admitted there will be no money to build it for the foreseeable future.'
The JCC is also worried about the indefinite planning freeze that will be placed on properties along the route.
'If someone wants to sell their house, straight away the property is devalued because it will either be close to a motorway in the future or won't be there at all,' said Michael, adding that the JCC is still assessing the detailed implications of the route for residents, farmers and business-owners.
Members of the public are invited to make comments on the preferred route to Wexford County Council before Friday, September 30. A brochure with detailed drawings is available is available on the county council's website at www.wexford.ie/routeselection.