Fine Gael’s Deputy James Bannon has said the continued delay in finalising the route corridor of the N4 Mullingar to Rooskey scheme is unacceptable, and that the promised completion date of 2012 is “just another Government promise waiting to be broken”.
“I have made so many representations in relation to this much-needed infrastructural development for Longford/Westmeath, but the Government are throwing up one phase of protracted negotiation and assessment after another,” said Deputy Bannon.
“The latest communication I have received in relation to the progression of this motorway states that it is currently in phase 3 – the route selection phase. This has caused undue inconvenience to many families and should be concluded as quickly as possible.
“Next up will be phase 4 - preliminary design phase. The word ‘preliminary’ worries me as it begs the question as to whether the next phase - phase 5 - will be the design phase. What then will be put forward as phase 6?”
According to Deputy Bannon, the preliminary design phase work will include horizontal and vertical alignments, including details of agricultural access tracks and accommodation works; junction design; bridges and structures; drainage works; and environmental amelioration.
“The progression of this motorway is dependent on phased activity but is also subject to surveys and reports,” he said.
“Given that a lot of this work would be routine and subject to the same constraints and requirements of similar projects, I find the delay unbelievable.
“This valuable infrastructure is urgently required for the Midlands. While I realise that current financial constraints will exacerbate the usual delaying tactics, I call on the Government and all concerned with this project to give it the priority it deserves.”