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Work to start soon on three service stations delayed for years

The work is expected to take four months.

Image: Shutterstock/welcomia

CONSTRUCTION ON THREE long-delayed service stations which have cost the taxpayer millions in maintenance costs is expected to start soon.

The services at Athlone, Kilcullen and Gorey were put to tender in 2015, but a legal challenge to the tender’s award has delayed the works and led to €15,000 a month being spent on lighting and security at each of the sites.

Wexford councillor Johnny Mythen said the costs needed to be explained:

“Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have spent up to 15,000 euro per month over a three-year period on lighting, security and other maintenance costs on the unopened Ballyellen Service Station at Inch, Gorey.

We’re talking about tax payers money – Joe and Josephine Public needlessly footing a bit of over half a million at a time when local child and adolescent mental health services have to rely on local voluntary fundraising including charity concerts. Its obscene.

“TTI need to be pulled before an Oireachtas committee to face tough questioning.”

TII has appeared before the Oireachtas to explain the delays – both in January and March. In January TII told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that over €1 million has been spent on the Gorey station alone.

However, the TII this week said that the works are expected to begin soon.

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“TII undertook a tender competition for a further Motorway Service Area contract. The tender competition relates to the design, build, finance, maintain and operate (“DBFMO”) basis and comprises of the following:

  • Athlone service area: DBFMO of a service area located on the M6 motorway east of Athlone
  • Kilcullen service area: DBFMO of a service area located on the M9 motorway south of Kilcullen
  • • Gorey service area: The fit out and operation & maintenance of a service area on the M11 motorway north of Gorey. The construction of this service area was undertaken as part of the N11 PPP contract.
TII’s decision on the appointment of the Preferred Tenderer (May 2015) was subject to a legal challenge. It is the legal right of private companies to take legal actions, if they see fit to do so. As a result of the legal action taken is was required that TII protect the taxpayers interest and protect the asset until the contractual dispute was resolved.

“The taxpayer owns the property and it is leased to the operator. The legal challenge was subsequently withdrawn from the High Court in April 2017. The contract was signed July 2018 and the construction works would commence shortly.”

TII’s Michael Nolan told the committee in January that he expected the works to take around four months.

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