For Release 6/5/2008
A public march in support of the
innovative Meath MASTER Plan will take place on Saturday May 17th 2008 at
Participants are asked to meet at the Garden of Remembrance, Parnell
Square, and the march will proceed to Dail Eireann, where there will be
speeches, music and a presentation of the Plan to government
The MASTER (Model Archaeological and Sustainable Economic
Region) Plan is an advanced development plan that solves the current legal,
environmental and heritage issues around the controversial M3 motorway, and also
provides a wider model for sustainable economic, heritage and tourism
development in Meath.
A key goal of the Plan is to enable Meath people to
work in their locality, reduce their dependence on long-distance commuting to
Dublin, and consequently allow them to spend more time with their families and
within their community.
A second goal is to reduce Meath's CO2 emissions
and its reliance on oil use for transport and energy, and to regenerate the
local economy and communities of the region. Reduced oil use would lead to much
lower costs in the future for both families and businesses in Meath. The
promoters of the Plan stress this should be a national priority at a time when
the oil price is close to $120 per barrel and has increased by over 500% since
The MASTER Plan objectives would be achieved via the creation of a
community transport network to include a toll-free 2+1 road, and rail and coach
services that facilitate easy travel throughout Meath, together with the
creation of a UNESCO Meath World Heritage Park to generate tourism revenue,
preserve the unique value of Meath's heritage sites and demonstrate the
importance of sustainable living.
The Plan avoids re-routing the M3 as it
uses much of the current road scheme "footprint" and switches to the existing N3
in the sensitive Tara-Skryne Valley area whilst still providing bypasses of
Dunshaughlin and Navan. Land within the Tara-Skryne Valley purchased for the M3
would be held in state ownership and designated for heritage interpretation and
The modified road scheme would also save significant costs
for commuters and businesses as it would be toll-free, since the reduced cost of
the 2+1 road format allows for buy-out of the PPP contract.
additionally implements the long-sought rail link to Navan and Kells, and
provides for new coach services, creating a cost-effective, sustainable and
reliable community transport network that would break dependency on
long-distance commuting, encourage local job creation and dramatically improve
quality of life for those living in the region.
The coach and rail
alternatives would help reduce traffic volumes on the modified M3 by up to
two-thirds, and the capital costs involved are approx. € 300 million less than
current Government proposals.
The parallel designation of the region as a
UNESCO World Heritage site would result in the preservation, protection and
sustainable management of the archaeology in the Tara-Skryne Valley and
surrounding areas. The extent of the World Heritage site would encompass the
five major centres of Navan, Kells, Trim, Dunshaughlin and Slane, bringing a
major tourist and economic dividend for the region with a potential increase of
€75 million in tourism revenue per annum.
Co-authors of the Meath MASTER
Plan, environmental campaigner Tadhg Crowley and transport researcher Brian
Guckian, stated: "The Meath MASTER Plan is a huge opportunity to be grasped,
with very significant economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits. It
is something that everyone can have ownership of, and our message is that there
is a solution, and that it can be implemented right now".
The proposal is
currently with government and has received strong backing from the public and
from across the political spectrum.
Guest speakers at the march will
outline what the Plan means to them and the event will be a positive and
constructive chance to engage with the issues involved, according to the
For details on the arrangements for the Meath
MASTER Plan March, please contact:
For details on the content of the Meath MASTER Plan, please
posters and fliers for the Gathering - downloadable HERE