The proposed route options for improvement of the N55 between Athlone and Ballymahon
The N55 between Athlone and Ballymahon has come under further scrutiny in recent weeks, as public meetings have been hosted in an attempt to choose a route for the improvement of that particular road.
The N55 Pigeons to Ballymahon Realignment is being developed by Westmeath County Council in partnership with Longford County Council and in association with Transportation Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
The most recent public meeting was held in Tubberclair on April 12, and provided information on the five proposed routes to members of the public who will be affected by the road improvements.
Road Safety continues to be an important issue for road users, local communities and parents, particularly on national secondary single carriageway roads like the N55, which runs past a number of local primary schools.
This section of the N55 has a sub-standard alignment and safety is further compromised due to the number of junctions and private accesses along the current route.
Westmeath County Council has engaged environmental consultants, RPS Consulting Engineers, to assist in the development of the scheme and, following assessment of the known constraints in the study area, five possible Route Options were developed.
The public consultations were held in an attempt to determine the best route for these improvements.
Ballymahon Cllr Pat O'Toole told the Longford Leader that, while these improvements will affect landowners between Ballymahon and Athlone, the general consensus in Ballymahon is that this development is a good thing.
“There's a large volume of traffic on that road and it's hardly able to take that level of traffic,” he said.
“And that's before we even have the traffic that Center Parcs will bring.
“Getting the preferred route is going to be the problem.”
Information displayed at the recent public consultation meetings included a map of the various route option drawings, an information brochure, and a questionnaire for locals.
All of the information distributed at the meetings can be downloaded via the national roads office at www.westmeathcoco.ie.