NB: Public Consultation Emerging Preferred Option on 14/11/2019 at Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane

Scheme Details
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Meath County Council are reviewing the development of proposals for the provision of a bypass of Slane village, removing a significant sub-standard section of the existing N2 national primary road. The N2 route forms part of an important long-distance transport corridor between the Greater Dublin Area, the Hub town of Monaghan, Northern Ireland and County Donegal, as well as carrying significant volumes of local traffic. The Study Area currently under review can be viewed here. The Scheme Options recommended for Stage 2 appraisal can be viewed here. Disclaimer: Scheme Options remain a work in progress and are subject to further change / refinement as the Route Selection process advances.

The N2 route at Slane is severely deficient, causing environmental nuisance to local residents with a long history of traffic accidents, including fatalities, which arise from the sub-standard alignment particularly in the vicinity of the Slane Bridge, the steep approach gradients in Slane village, and on approaches to the Slane Bridge, and the high percentage of HCVs through the village. 

Action to date has been limited to short-term collision-reduction measures, due to both lack of funds and the high environmental sensitivity of the landscape. These measures have been only partly successful and have not resolved the safety and environmental issues.

The Boyne Valley region in Co. Meath includes the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) of Brú na Bóinne, the Battle of the Boyne Site at Oldbridge and the coastal area of East Meath stretching from Mornington to Gormanston. The site incorporates the passage tombs at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth and contains many outstanding archaeological features, notably its megalithic art, the large and varied grouping of monuments, and evidence of continuous settlement and activity in the area for some 7,000 years. The location and extent of the WHS is shown here
What is Happening Now?
In February 2017, Meath County Council appointed RPS Consulting Engineers to start afresh in the progression of the appraisal of traffic management alternatives and with the development of route options for a bypass of Slane village through Phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 of TII's Project Management Guidelines (2010) and TII's Project Appraisal Guidelines (2016). 
Links to these Guidelines can be found under the tab 'Guidelines & Project Phases'.

Transport Policy within the Meath County Development Plan (CDP) 2013 – 2019 is ‘To promote and facilitate the provision of the necessary transport infrastructure to fully accommodate existing and future population needs as well as the demand for economic development in an environmentally sustainable manner’.

It is also a policy of the CDP ‘to promote the understanding of County Meath’s landscape in terms of its inherent and unique character and to recognise what elements should be preserved, conserved or enhanced’. 

The CDP states that:
The potential safety risks that affect the future well-being of all road users and communities, particularly the Slane community, must be addressed. In seeking a solution, Meath County Council has always recognised that a balance must be struck between environmental, historical and archaeological considerations, and the safety and other issues caused by the present traffic through the village”. 

Work to-date by RPS Consulting Engineers concludes that:

• The need for the scheme is still there.
• A bypass of Slane village remains feasible.
• Consideration of scheme options, alongside appraisal of a full range of traffic management alternatives, is likely to lead to a fully-justified and worthwhile scheme, designed in accordance with applicable design standards to achieve appropriate levels of service.

It is concluded that the scheme is a worthwhile and cost effective project to progress.