Trucks may be banned from Slane


WORK HAS begun on examining the possibility of banning trucks and other heavy goods vehicles from Slane village.

Last month villagers expressed disappointment when An Bord Pleanála turned down permission for a 3.5km bypass which would have taken thousands of HGVs out of the village, which is on the N2, the main Dublin-Derry road.

At times 30 lorries pass by the village school in a five-minute period; the village, including its medieval bridge over the Boyne, has seen more than 20 fatal accidents in living memory.

The bypass was refused because it would be close to the buffer zone to Brú na Bóinne. An Bord Pleanála said that could only be considered “where it had been demonstrated that no other alternative was available”.

That alternative, which was raised at the oral hearing, was to ban HGVs.

However, Meath County Council met the National Roads Authority in recent days and confirmed that after the last meeting, “it was agreed that further traffic surveys would be carried out to ascertain if there is an appropriate alternative to the bypass”.

“The information generated would be collated for input into the consultant’s traffic model,” a council spokeswoman said.

“Once the model is validated, it will be possible to test how effective each option would be in removing HGVs from Slane and ascertain if there is an appropriate alternative to the bypass.”

Meath county manager Tom Dowling said the council had effectively been asked to “eliminate every possible obstacle”, to granting permission for a bypass.

It has also emerged that the county council sought legal advice on whether it could ask the courts to judicially review the decision to refuse permission but was told there “is no substantial basis” for doing this.

The council also said: “There appears to be no facility available which would allow the council to meet An Bord Pleanála to discuss its decision in greater detail.”