A decision to suspend plans for a major upgrade of the N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton has been described as a 'slap in the face to Cork'.
It has emerged in recent days that the planned upgrade of the main road between Carrigtwohill and Midleton had been put on hold.
At a meeting yesterday, Cork county councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Department of Transport and to the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) seeking a reversal of their decision.
The Chief Executive of the Cork County Council Tim Lucey said that the council’s director of roads Padraig Barrett is due to meet the regional manager of the TII today and to get a ‘deeper understanding’ of the decision not to allocate any funding for the road this year. But, according to the Irish Examiner, the TII has confirmed work on the project cannot proceed as it hasn't got the funding from Government.
Councillor Anthony Barry said the suspension is an ‘appalling decision’ for the development of the Cork region.
“It is a slap in the face to Cork," he said. "If we intend to develop this part of Cork we need the infrastructure.
"We need an explanation and a reversal of this decision."
Cllr Barry said he is concerned the decision will impact the county development plan.
“This road was built in 1968. It is probably the fifth busiest road in the country at this stage.
Yet there are residential accesses on and off it and there are agricultural accesses on and off it. It is a very dangerous road as shown by the number of incidents that take place with great regularity.
“If we are looking at our county development plan and formulating that, we based it on this upgrade going ahead. The road is operating at about 120% capacity at the moment. This is going to be increased. We have huge IDA lands blocks on that road. We have planned for in excess of 5,000 residential units to be put there. How we can continue to do that without an upgrade to this stretch of road beggars belief,” he added.
Cllr Susan McCarthy said a letter should also be written to the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan. She said the decision was ‘outrageous’ and ‘defies all logic’.
Cllr Michael Hegarty said that the Taoiseach, Minister Coveney and Minister McGrath should be contacted about the situation.
“We need support from the three most influential people in government. It will take political influence to get this on track.”
Chief Executive Tim Lucey said the decision was a shock to the system as the road is a very ‘strategic corridor’ to the whole Cork region.
“We have progressed the project to the route selection stage. There is a significant question mark over whether work on this particular scheme should be stopped immediately in terms of its future advancement for design and planning. Without the funding that would be the situation at this particular point in time. It is a very strategic corridor to the entirety of the Cork region.
“We are developing Dunkettle. There is €60 million available to advance that. There is €13 million allocated to the road to Ringaskiddy but none to this which is a shock to the system."