To ask the Minister for Transport if he has satisfied himself with the situation whereby only 54.6% of the main inter-urban routes will be completed by the end of the National Development Plan; if he remains confident that the major inter-urban routes designated for priority will be completed by 2010; if so the measures he intends to pursue to fast-track road construction of these major inter-urban routes to enable them to be completed by 2010 as proposed by the NRA; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Enda Kenny. (Nominated by: Olivia Mitchell).
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 15th February, 2005.
Ref No: 4749/05
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Martin Cullen)
Work is complete or underway on about 45% of the major inter-urban road routes at present i.e. the routes serving Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Dundalk. Work is due to get underway on the final section (Dundalk/Border) of the M1 and on Phase 1 of the Kinnegad/Athlone section of the N6 this year.
Investment in these routes to date has targeted the removal of major bottlenecks such as those at Kildare, Monasterevan, Cashel, Watergrasshill, Limerick, Kilcock/Enfield, Drogheda etc. Full completion of these routes to motorway/dual carriageway standard will extend to 2010 but in the meantime the major traffic bottlenecks will have been eliminated. The publication of CPOs and EISs, for the remaining sections of these routes will be completed this year. The Capital Investment Framework combined with private sector funding through PPPs provides for the necessary funding over the period 2005-2009.
Upgrading of the national roads network is not limited to the major inter-urban routes. Major improvements have been completed, are underway or are well advanced in planning on other routes throughout the country including such major projects as bypasses of Ennis, Ballincollig and Ashford/Rathnew and Sligo Inner Relief Road.