Local outrage as Drogheda is split in two
THE Dublin Transport Authority is to split Drogheda by only including the southern half of the town in its plans, it has emerged.
The town stretches to both sides of the Boyne River which divides Louth and Meath but only county Meath is included in the DTA.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey acknowledged the problem, but said the new body was a transport authority for the Greater Dublin Area, which included Meath, but not Louth.
However, opposition politicians have criticised the move in light of new developments in the north of Drogheda.
There is a proposed increase of 15,000 people in the Louth part that will not be covered by the authority. Recent developments in the north of the town and planned development along the Dublin-Belfast Corridor would also be excluded.
Fianna Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd and Labour TD Tommy Broughan said at an Oireachtas Transport Committee meeting that the DTA would be responsible for overlooking land use and transportation aspects of developments up as far as the Boyne but would say nothing about beyond that point.
Mr O'Dowd claimed that excluding half of the town would have serious implications for a future extension of the Dart to Drogheda. He dismissed incorporating the north of the town at a later date. He said: "We are making legislation now, you are the executive authority."
Mr Broughan said Dublin Institute of Technology population projections saw the addition of about a million people on the Dublin-Belfast Corridor and he added that past experience had shown planning authorities would go out of their way to avoid imposing a public transport obligation on developers.
Mr Dempsey said he had no objection to Louth County Council seeking permission to leave the Border, Midlands and Western Region, and join the Greater Dublin Area. But he refused amendments to the DTA Bill to include Co Louth when the authority is set up.
Mr Dempsey said the new transport authority would have power to regulate all public transport which began in the Greater Dublin Area and ended outside it, or vice versa, which would go some way towards addressing the problem.