A recent announcement from the National Roads Authority (NRA) regarding planned maintenance works to the roundabouts at Ashbourne’s Rath Cross and Nine Mile Stone has been strongly welcomed in the area.
As the town is set for a major upgrade in the near future, many in the area believed that there was more need than ever for attractive and well-maintained entry points at either side of Ashbourne.
As the second largest town in Meath, Ashbourne has more than its fair share of traffic and, in addition to being a vital part of the town’s infrastructure, the roundabouts are the first point of contact visitors have with the town. Many residents, business owners and local councillors have expressed concern that the unkempt and unmaintained roundabouts create a negative opinion of the town, even before the visitors have entered.
Councillor Niamh McGowan confirmed that the roundabouts will not only be maintained but will be entirely refurbished.
“The roundabouts are the gateway to Ashbourne and we have been working for years to have them refurbished and maintained. The NRA are going to undertake this work and the contractors have been appointed. We would like to work with local businesses to create something special for Ashbourne in relation to the look and design of the roundabouts. We have a lot of resources and innovation in the town and that should be reflected in the design,” said Cllr McGowan.
The news will be welcomed by many people in the area who have been campaigning for several years to ensure that the matter be resolved. During this time proposals were put forward to Meath County Council to secure funding to carry out the works, however, as the roundabouts are the remit of the NRA, Meath County Council were unable to allocate funds to the scheme.
Fine Gael TD for Meath East Regina Doherty was instrumental in securing the NRA’s commitment to upgrade and maintain the roundabouts to an improved standard.
“Thousands of people enter and exit Ashbourne every day. It is unfortunate that for many years they have been greeted with run down, unkempt roundabouts that indicate a similarly neglected town, and not the vibrant community that we actually have,” said Deputy Doherty. “Ashbourne is a great town with a lot to offer. When people arrive the first thing they see should be clean, tidy and attractive. The works on the roundabouts should finally achieve this.”