There has not yet been government funding for a major new road planned for Offaly.
Councilors called for more urgency on a proposed Tullamore/Kilbeggan link at a recent meeting.
‘The N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link Scheme’, Service Manager Tom Shanahan told the meeting, ‘has not yet received government funding for the coming year but, having said that, we within the Council, will be working on an environmental design and study this year.
“The N52 from Tullamore to Kilbeggan is currently operating above capacity, carrying over 14,000 vehicles a day. The Council says the safety of the road is ‘compromised by a narrow hard shoulder and a number of junctions and private hotspots. The new N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link will benefit all road users. This program will improve the quality of this strategically important road; improve connectivity in the Midlands; will result in shorter and safer journeys by car, truck and bus; will improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and people living along the road. ”
Cllr Sean O’Brien said he was very disappointed to learn that funding was not allocated for the road improvement. He said advisers have long been anxiously awaiting the layout design report.
“I’m concerned now that the project is on the back burner. Improving this road is vital for local businesses and local residents. It’s vital for safety. I think we should meet with Oireachtas members at this subject. There needs to be more urgency.”
Cllr Neil Feighery said he was also very disappointed with the lack of greater urgency regarding the route.
Cllr Tony McCormack pointed out that it is a dangerous situation on the road, due to high speeds and dangerous junctions. “The problem cannot be dealt with in this way, or worse, simply ignored.”