The issue of the upgrading of the N26 is to be kept to the forefront of the local issues according to the members of the Ballina Electoral Area committee this week.
“I attended meeting with the NRA in the last few weeks as chairperson of the roads SPC and the news wasn’t much different from last year,” chairperson of the committee, Cllr Jarlath Munnelly told the meeting. “At the start of the year it was singled out that the N5 would get money to bring it from design stage to CPO and there was nothing for the N26. This is what Minister Varadkar was left by the previous government and it is up to us to make sure that we work to keep the N26 to the top of the list on the agenda when the funding comes up for next year.”
The members praised the improvement works that had been carried out on the N26 recently from Mount Falcon out the Foxford road where the pavement was improved. “Those improvement works have made a great improvement to the road there and it backs up what I have been saying for the past 30 years,” said Independent councillor Gerry Ginty. “You don’t have to have major big dual carriage ways put in to improve the roads and the transport links to the towns, the work carried out here has proved it. A lot of the those big dual carriageway bypasses were just vanity projects for TDs and ministers and weren’t needed.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Annie May Reape said: “We now have the Taoiseach, a Minister of State, the probable new leader of the Seanad and two other Government TDs in the county. I would call on them to do deliver the N26 and on the members here to lobby them for it. Anyone who has seen the Gort bypass will see what a difference it makes and if we had a similar one around Foxford it would make a great difference.”
Fine Gael councillor Eddie Staunton quipped back: “We will get it done, we’re only two months in power. It is important that we do all we can to push the N26.” Cllr Munnelly also responded telling Cllr Reape, “The Gort bypass was marked out as a strategic road project under the Transport 21 plan and the N26 never was.”