Longford's motorway hopes given major boost

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Dail Eireann

A government report has highlighted the need to upgrade the N4/N5

An Oireachtas Budgetary Committee has published its capital expenditure report ‘Upgrading Connectivity’ with the N4/N5 upgrade at the top of its agenda.

The Committee on Budgetary Oversight 2017 report highlights the need for immediate improvement to other road networks in Western regions, in particular the development of a motorway connecting Mayo to Mullingar, as well as a complete upgrade of the N4 from Longford to Sligo.

Speaking to the Leader, Cllr Seamus Butler said that the development of the road networks in this region now looked very likely and these latest indications could well see a new motorway in Co Longford in the not too distant future.

“All this follows on from our presentation in April to the Oireachtas Committee on the need for an upgrade of the roads network in this region,” he added, before pointing to the positive response the group received at the time.

“The Budgetary Committee has now come along and highlighted the importance of the N4/N5, so I feel now that we will get on to the capital programme.”

Meanwhile other routes recommended for upgrade include the A5 Donegal/Derry to Dublin road; complete upgrade of N72 and N73 in Cork and Kerry and completion of the M11 to Wexford town and Rosslare.

Together, the entire upgrade would improve the transportation of goods nationwide and help to alleviate congestion at Dublin Port.

“The issues around lack of connectivity were brought into sharp focus when the Brexit issue arose,” continued Cllr Butler.

“We need to develop our capacity at our major ports so that we can ship goods to
mainland Europe directly and invest in airports so that goods manufactured here and destined for international markets can go direct from Ireland.”

He says that when the N4/N5 and motorway options are given the go ahead, design and CPO will be the next step.

“After that, it will take approximately two and a half years to complete the works,” he continued.

Meanwhile, the Joint N4/N5 Lobbying Group has welcomed the report.

“We welcome the need for immediate improvement to the road networks in Western regions, in particular by developing a motorway connecting Mayo to Mullingar, as the condition of some sections of the N5 and N26 was described as appalling at present,” said Lisa Brady.

“A complete upgrade of N4 from Longford to Sligo would also serve as a huge boost to Longford.”