A major improvement scheme to the Westport to Mulranny road was discussed at the Belmullet Electoral Area committee this week.
The stretch of road, which is in the region of 25km, was selected by the NRA as part of a pilot programme of four roads nationally to get a design grant to improve key national secondary roads on tourist routes.
“What is designed is a low volume secondary scheme,” Tony McNulty, senior engineer with the Mayo roads design office, told the committee. “The pilot scheme was to look at roads which had a high tourist value and as part of the brief there should be a cycle or walkway included. As we already have the newly opened cycleway on the route it really boosted the prospects of the road.”
The council plans to have the route out for public consultation by July. Cllr Rose Conway Walsh asked if the scheme could be extended through the village of Mulranny as far as the turn offs for Achill and Belmullet, which were in need of a roundabout because of safety concerns. However she was told that the brief of the scheme from the NRA only allowed the council to go as far as the lower speed limit on the Newport side of Mulranny. Cllr Michael Holmes told the meeting that there were certain patches of roadway that were only recently done and were in very good shape already and he was concerned that it would be a waste to do them again. He was assured that, if the go ahead was given, the road would be done in stages with the worst parts of the road done first.