Longford TD Joe Flaherty seeks extension to consultation period for the N4 upgrade project

Covid restrictions denying the public a chance to adequately explore route options

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Longford/Westmeath Fianna Fáil general election candidate Joe Flaherty

Longford/Westmeath TD Joe Flaherty

Joe Flaherty TD wants the consultation period for the N4 Mullingar to Longford upgrade to be extended. He said: “There is a high level of anxiety. The public want to examine and tease out the detail of the scheme but fear that  COVID restrictions are impeding these efforts.”

Said Deputy Flaherty: “It is important that we get an extension period for the consultation phase which  opened February 1st and  closes in just over four weeks time (March 19th).”

Residents  and members of the local communities   have been invited  to participate in the consultation on the route corridor options. “The project team in fairness have put together a really decent online  portal for this but it simply isn’t sufficient in the current COVID times.”

He added: “Members of the public are struggling with low quality maps; they may not have access to printers at the moment and certainly haven’t been able to meet as a community to discuss concerns.”

Added Deputy Flaherty: “This is the single biggest infrastructural project for the region and provision needs to be made to amend the timeline for consultation in light of COVID restrictions. The various route options must be fully examined  and the public given every chance to do so.”  

The Longford TD is also concerned that the public haven’t been given access to quality maps or visuals. He said: “In normal times, the public would be able to go and see the various route options on display with large maps. Todate they have only received a cryptic A3 map with each of the route options and the interactive map  is difficult to follow on screen.”

The Longford TD has contacted  the project, team, Longford Co Council, T11 and the relevant government departments asking them to consider an extension to the consultation period.