Local Fine Gael councillor John Naughten has raised concerns over the re-designation of the Athlone bypass as motorway and the effect it will have on road users and development in the area.
“It is planned that the dual carriageway that acts as the Athlone bypass will become part of the new motorway when the N6 is re-designated, and while the classification of the road in general as a motorway is welcome I would have concerns regarding this particular stretch,” explained Cllr Naughten.
“If this section of road is declared a motorway it will have repercussions for learner drivers who will no longer be able to use it and also for farmers who regularly use this road with agricultural vehicles to access land on either side of the Shannon. If re-designation goes ahead at this location it will force vehicles such as tractors off the road and create hardship for a number of farmers in the area who have been using this road since the construction of the bridge.”
Cllr Naughten also raised concerns over the impact such a re-designation would have on development in the area. “I would have concerns about the implications for development on the west side of Athlone - particularly on the SO1 site in Bogganfin - as access would be prohibited if the road is reclassified as motorway,” he said.
Anyone who wishes to make a representation in relation to this issue should do so to Motorway Declaration, Department of Transport, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, by 4pm on Friday November 14.