Posted May 22nd, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has today (Wednesday) encouraged people from county Wicklow to apply for the positions on the N11 upgrade works.
Deputy Harris stated that ‘The N11 upgrade is a fantastic boost for the county and it would be a fantastic additional benefit for the county if local people would be given the opportunity to work on this project. The significant decline in the construction sector has left a large number of people seeking work. This is a major project and one which may provide an opportunity for many of those who have been involved in the construction sector.
‘There are a number of positions being advertised in relation to the project at the following link http://www.candidatemanager.net/cm/micro/joblist.aspx?mid=YUGTGT&sid=BEVCXB&a=uPz77yoH8jU%3D
‘I would encourage any person looking for work who might be eligible to apply for these positions.’
Posted May 20th, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has today (Monday) welcomed the announcement, by the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar, of an €80,000 allocation to the Community Improvement Scheme in County Wicklow.
Deputy Harris stated that ‘This announcement is a welcome boost to the Arklow area. Investment in the Community Involvement Scheme is a significant investment in the future of Wicklow but also one that provides for real additional community engagement.
‘As a new pilot scheme, the Community Improvement Scheme provides for the engagement of the community in the projects for which resources are allocated. This project will provide for the alteration of roads in Coolbawn Lower and the local community will be investing the labour and JCB plant in the project. This ensures that this project has a distinctly local value and feel to it.
‘I am pleased that this announcement has come today and that the Minister has approved all validly submitted Wicklow applications under this scheme. As this is a new scheme I would also like to welcome its introduction and implementation and I look forward to future rounds of this strategic investment being engaged with across County Wicklow.’
Posted April 30th, 2013
Wicklow Deputy welcomes major road investment as N11 upgrade is due to commence in May – contracts signed today
Wicklow fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has today welcomed the news that the contract for the upgrade of the N11 has been signed with BAM construction. This contract is bundled with the Newlands Cross upgrade in a combined project worth €228 million and which will see 1,000 construction jobs come on stream.
Speaking today, (Tuesday) Deputy Harris said ‘I am delighted that today after series of meetings with the Minister, the N11 upgrade is to now get underway in May . TheN11 is a vital arterial route in County Wicklow and its upgrading will lead to more jobs, more investment, a safer road and a better quality of life for commuting families. This upgrade has been needed for years and I am delighted that it has now been delivered by this Government.”
“This is the first major road investment project announced nationally in 4 years and shows the priority and attention which County Wicklow is receiving in terms of our infrastructure. It will also see many badly need construction jobs come on stream,” stated Deputy Harris.
“The project is due to commence in the coming weeks and will be completed within 28 months. I look forward to the huge benefits this will bring to our county and the further benefit it will add to promoting Wicklow as a location for investment and jobs,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted April 16th, 2013
Deputy Harris secures update in Dail on actions being taken to resolve flooding problems on the N11.
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) secured a Dail debate on the on-going flooding issues on the N11/M11.
After the recent spate of flooding Deputy Harris undertook to raise this matter on the floor of the Dail to finally seek answers for Wicklow commuters as to why this major roadway has been flooded twice already this year.
Speaking in the Dail this evening Deputy Harris said, ‘We are only in the fourth month of 2013 and already Wicklow commuters have had to endure traffic chaos and road closures on the N11/M11. They and I have had enough and are extremely frustrated by the lack of answers and indeed the buck passing form one agency and indeed local authority to another.
‘This is a major road leading to our capital city. It is an essential route on an almost daily basis for thousands upon thousands of people commuting to work and going about their business. Equally in terms of encouraging investment into county Wicklow, we cannot afford to have these flooding issues remain without solution.
‘Legitimate questions are now being asked by commuters and residents in terms of whether there is an engineering problem with this road or is there simply a lack of proper maintenance and to be quite frank whether this is a problem with Wicklow County Council or Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council or the National Roads Authority or all three. We need leadership and coordination. We need heads banged together and a workable solution.
‘This evening in the Dail the Minister for Transport has informed me that a CCTV survey of the motorway drainage is being undertaken and a series of site surveys are underway to assess the condition of the motorway drainage and to investigate the performance of the local road and land drainage network to the west of the M11.
‘I welcome this news that action is being taken and will be vigorously pursuing this.’
Posted April 5th, 2013
Major aerial road shut for second time this year due to flooding – Wicklow TD to seek answers and accountability in Dáil debate
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has written to the Ceann Comhairle tabling a special Topical Debate in the Dáil arising from the closure of the N11/M11 twice so far in 2013 due to flooding.
Speaking on this issue, Deputy Harris said, “It is utterly unacceptable that this major road route is closed in parts and that commuters from right throughout Wicklow are left in chaotic traffic for hours and hours on end when their is heavy rain. Surely in the 21st Century we can engineer and maintain roads to withstand heavy rain. This is not a small road, it is one of our country’s most major roadways and to see it unable to cope with rain and to be flooded twice in three months is ridiculous.”
“Since the latest flooding incident resulting in the closure of the road around the Bray exits, there has been significant “buck passing” going on. The NRA have implied that local authorities failed to maintain it adequately. Others have commented on the fact that there may be an engineering problem in and around the part of the road in question. Wicklow residents dont want buck-passing. They want answers and they want action,” stated Deputy Harris.
“I have now tabled a Dáil debate on the issue and have written to the Ceann Comhairle seeking time to consider the matter on the floor of the Dáil so that the Minister for Transport can bring together all the relevant agencies – the NRA and the local authorities – and secure answers, updates and assurances on this important issue. I will continue to pursue this until progress is made,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted February 27th, 2013
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris, has welcomed news that Dublin Bus has achieved its objective of having a fully low floor wheelchair accessible fleet. Dublin Bus was due to meet this target by the end of 2012 and Deputy Harris has been informed that this has been achieved.
Speaking on this issue, Deputy Harris said, ‘The movement of Dublin Bus to a fully accessible service is long overdue but extremely welcome news. Those who require the low floor services now have a comprehensive service for their needs.
‘The transition to accessible public transport has hastened in recent years and this juncture represents a landmark movement in that process. The days of Wicklow people who were commuting long distance into Dublin on unsuitable buses or being forced to wait until a low floor bus arrived is now thankfully at an end,” stated Deputy Harris.
‘This event along with other upgrades on the Dublin Bus service such wi-fi access, are very welcome and represent necessary upgrades to a service that caters for many millions of journeys each year,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted January 23rd, 2013
Funding for local and regional road improvements in Wicklow to be announced shortly
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has announced that County Wicklow will receive funding for national road improvement schemes of €1,469,456 for 2013.
This capital investment is completely separate to road maintenance budgets and to funding for local and regional roads.
Speaking about this investment in national Wicklow roads, Deputy Harris said, “I am very pleased that despite the economic constraints within which the Government is operating, that we are continuing to invest in our infrastructure here in County Wicklow. The county will receive funding for local and regional road improvements and has also received a budget for road maintenance but in addition to this, we have received an allocation of just under €1.5 million to roll-out some major road improvements on national roadways in our county.”
“This capital investment for Wicklow is broken down as follows:
· N11 Glen of the Downs Northbound Safety Scheme – €90,000
· Junction Improvement – Kilpeddar/Delgany – €80,000
· Arklow/Rathnew – €750,000
· Knockroe Bend Realignment Scheme – €350,000
· Local Authority Support (Improvement) 2013 WW – 199,456
“I look forward to these works progressing and to the benefits they will bring to our county in terms of attractiveness for investment and safety and convenience for commuters,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted December 14th, 2012
I just wish to advise you of changes to the driving licence service in the coming months.
As you know, the fee for the driving licence increased recently. This was the first effective increase since 1989 and recognises the need for state services to pay their way. Over the coming weeks, there will also be significant changes in the way licences are delivered in Ireland. From 12 January 2013, all applications for a licence will get a plastic card licence, produced in a format that is both standardised and recognisable throughout the EU. This new licence will be the ‘best in class’ from a security point of view and, as it will be credit card sized, will be easier to carry.
To assist with an orderly transition to the new plastic licence, all applications received from the 12 January 2013 will issue in plastic card format. This licence will be produced in a standalone secure facility and therefore no driving licences can be produced in the Motor Tax Office. As such, over the counter licences will no longer be available after 12 January. Instead the licence or learner permit will be posted out to the applicant once he or she has applied to the Motor Tax Office.
The new plastic card licence will only be available to those who:
· have passed their driving test and are applying for their first driving licence
· are renewing their learner permit or driving licence
· are exchanging a foreign driving licence for an Irish driving licence
As all old paper licences are valid for a maximum of 10 years, so it follows that all old paper licences should be replaced with a plastic card licence by 2023.
In addition to the introduction of the new licence, licence delivery will also be centralised and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) will become the licensing authority in January. Motor Tax Offices will continue to deliver the service until September 2013; after that, licences will be delivered by the RSA under the banner of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS).
From 12 January there are also changes to some driver licensing rules on foot of an EU Directive, the most significant of which is that licences for trucks and buses will now last for five years instead of the current ten years.
Over the coming weeks, the RSA will be commencing a concerted public information campaign to alert road-users to the new service. Elements of this campaign have already commenced, including briefings with key stakeholders and the distribution of leaflets and posters to key organisations.
You can get more information about the new plastic card and the licence changes at www.rsa.ie
Bus Eireann’s heartless and cold commercial decision on Route 2 is unacceptable and must change – Harris
Posted October 4th, 2012
· Wicklow TD meets with Chief Executive of Bus Eireann and reflects concerns of Arklow residents relying on bus service to access St Vincent’s Hospital
· Bus Eireann agree to alter changes to include 3 buses a day via Arklow to St Vincent’s Hospital and 3 return buses from the hospital to Arklow. Deputy Harris welcomes these changes but seeks more
Wicklow Fine Gael TD, Simon Harris has condemned what he describes as a “heartless and cold commercial decision” by Bus Eireann to alter the route of the No. 2 bus service substantially reducing the number of stops a day at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.
Speaking on this issue, Deputy Harris said, “In the last number of weeks I have met with many Arklow residents who are extremely upset, concerned and stressed by the impact of the decision by Bus Eireann to alter the route of the No. 2 bus service. These changes took place without any consultation with residents, bus users, hospital users or public representatives.”
“This week, I met with the Chief Executive of Bus Eireann and outlined to him the huge and negative impact of these changes in relation to the bus route, the bus timeline and the bus stops on the community of Arklow and the surrounding areas. I outlined and stressed to him the particular difficulty these changes caused for residents dependant on this bus service to access St Vincent’s Hospital. I am most disappointed that Bus Eireann has adopted the stance that as this service is a commercial one and not a public route, that they have made the decision based on the need to make the route commercially viable,” stated Deputy Harris.
“However, I do welcome the fact that Bus Eireann has now agreed to alter their decision somewhat and to provide 3 services a day through Arklow to St Vincent’s Hospital and 3 return services from the hospital to Arklow. This is some improvement but not enough and I will continue to work for more. Additionally, I will also be contacting the National Transport Authority (NTA) to reflect the views of the community and to outline the need for the NTA to address this situation when it sets about reviewing the bus routes for the south-east region. I believe this review is currently ongoing,” said Deputy Harris.
“I want to commend the community of Arklow, the Mayor of Arklow and the Councillors in the area for their persistence on this issue. It shows great community spirit and determination. I want to assure the community that I will continue to work with them. I think it is imperative that Bus Eireann now attend a meeting of Arklow Town Council and engage with local representatives on this important issue as a matter of urgency,” concluded Deputy Harris.
Posted August 29th, 2012
Wicklow Fine Gael TD Simon Harris is highlighting the potential of ‘The Gathering’ to bring new visitors to county Wicklow.
This weekend sees the ‘Emerald Isle’ football game taking place in Dublin with two US-based American football teams taking to the field. This event is expected to draw a crowd of up to 35,000 US college football fans, worth an estimated €100 million for the economy.
‘Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland and with good reason. The great tourist attractions throughout the county can only benefit from this initiative,’ stated Deputy Harris.
‘There is a real opportunity for Wicklow and the work being done across the County by many groups to host events and to get involved is extremely encouraging. The Gathering will hopefully provide a much needed boost to Wicklow tourism and will help support local businesses.’
‘I would encourage any person or group with an idea or an interest to get in touch with Wicklow Tourism to see how it can help them. I will be continuing to work closely alongside Minister Leo Varadkar and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport to ensure that county Wicklow plays a central role in The Gathering and is marketed to as wide an audience of international visitors as possible’, continued Deputy Harris
‘The goal of the Gathering is to attract an additional 325,000 tourist to Ireland in 2013. My goal for county Wicklow is to ensure that as many of these 325,000 tourists as possible spend some time in the Garden County during their stay,’ concluded Deputy Harris.