Slow progress on east to west route
DUNDALK TO SLIGO ROUTE COULD BE UPGRADED IN PHASES
THE long awaited east to west link from Dundalk to Sligo may be completed in sections, rather than as a direct route, it emerged last week.
Speaking in the Dail Minister for Transport Shane Ross explained that proposals to deliver an ‘upgraded East-West route linking Dundalk to Sligo, taking in Cavan, involve linking elements of the national road network and regional roads along as direct a route as possible.’
He added that ‘essentially the route involves upgrade and realignment works on the regional routes from Dundalk to Cavan and on national routes from Cavan to Sligo.’
The Minister said ‘ the regional road aspect of the proposal, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area is a statutory function of local authorities in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act.’
‘Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.’
He told the Dail that the Department provided funding to Cavan County Council, which is acting as lead authority with Monaghan and Louth County Councils, with over €2 million in the period 20072014 to progress the regional road element of the project to preliminary design.
‘ This year I have given an allocation of €25,000 to Cavan County Council to enable the Council to undertake a prelim- inary appraisal, in line with the current requirements in the public spending code and the Capital Investment Framework, of the Cavan to Dundalk section of the route.
‘ The aim of this appraisal would be to assess the extent to which the scheme or elements of it can be justified in terms of appraisal and advanced for further consideration in relation to schemes for development post 2021.’
He added that the planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
The long awaited road upgrade was also raised at the recent monthly meeting of Louth County Council.
Councillor Peter Savage asked about progress on the proposed Dundalk to Sligo western link.
Ms. Martin confirmed that it had not been included in Project Ireland 2040.
She admitted that ‘ travelling West from Dundalk is very difficult I have to admit.’
She added that it is easier to travel to Dublin and then onwards west, as opposed to going cross country from Dundalk to Sligo.
Councillors heard that there was a possibility of a ‘piece meal’ approach where the road would be upgraded in parts.
Cllr Peter Savage.