No major progress following NRA meeting, roads SPC told

The chairperson of the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee of Mayo County Council this week reported to the committee there had been no major progress following a meeting between the delegation and the NRA recently.

“There wasn’t a whole amount of change from what we knew already, especially on the N26,” Cllr Jarlath Munnelly told the meeting. “We had a discussion about it and where it was going, the picture wasn’t a good one.”

Cllr Michael Holmes confirmed what Cllr Munnelly had said and added: “There will be a drop in funding over the next two to three years, it looks, and that isn’t very encouraging.”

Senior engineer for Mayo County Council Tony McNulty told the meeting: “The present Government is currently carrying out a review of all the infrastructure projects. Until that is done we’re all in limbo. There is a major review about all the transport infrastructure in the Dublin area which will have a spin off for the whole country.

“On the N26 unless we get money to do the redesign on it we’re going nowhere,” Mr McNulty added. “We have to get it out of the planning stage.” Cllr Munnelly added: “They are going to concentrate on plans that have a large body of work done on them first. We need to get the N26 on to that stage, we have to keep pushing to get it to that level.”

Mr McNulty did offer some hope on the N26. “The N22 was granted in Cork recently, it was nearly turned down and it gave us a lot of information as to where we should go to ensure that the N26 doesn’t get turned down again,” he said. “If we were able to get back into the planning stage, we would have a very good idea where to build from.”

Cllr Michael Holmes added: “Maybe it’s time we looked past these big major projects and work on upgrading the road surface that is already there for a lot less money. What I’m saying is that we’d all love to see a dual carriageway, but realistically it is not going to happen for 10 years at least. Would it not be better to just do the road up or will we still have to go up and down the bumpy, bumpy road as we have been for 30 years.”

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