Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Firstly, I would like to explain that, as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. However, under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, development and construction of individual national road projects is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
The National Development Plan (NDP) provides the strategic and financial framework for Tll's national roads programme from 2018-2027. The focus of Tll's activities over the coming years is, accordingly, directed towards the major national road improvement schemes listed in the NDP.
Following consultation with TII, I can provide the following information and update to the Deputy on investment in the national road network in County Meath:
N2 Slane Bypass
The proposed N2 Slane Bypass is included amongst a number of major national road schemes that are identified for development during the period of the NDP. The scheme is also contained in the NTA Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area.
An N2 bypass of Slane is required to alleviate traffic congestion in the village and to reduce the potential for serious incidents due to the steep approaches to the very narrow Slane Bridge and the high commercial vehicle content in the traffic flow.
The project is currently at route selection stage. This process is well advanced. Once the preferred route is identified, the scheme will be progressed through planning and design. A Business case will then be prepared for the approval of both my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. In addition, statutory documentation will be prepared, including the environmental impact assessment. Meath County Council has confirmed that the scheme will be lodged with An Bord Pleanála in 2020, after adoption of the new County Development Plan.
TII has provided €1m to Meath County Council for planning work on the scheme this year.
N2 Rath to Kilmoon scheme
The proposed N2 Rath Roundabout to Kilmoon Cross scheme is among a number of major national road schemes identified in the NDP for progression through pre-appraisal and early planning. In this regard, Pre-Appraisal for the proposed scheme has been approved.
This 6 km Dual Carriageway scheme will address existing operational and safety problems on the N2, which has an annual average daily traffic of around 16,000 vehicles per day and experiences considerable peak time congestion.
TII has issued approval to Meath County Council to procure technical advisors to commence design of the scheme. These Tenders have been received and are currently being assessed. Once that contract is awarded, it typically takes three to five years from this point through Phases 1 to 4 of the Project Management Guidelines, to have a scheme ready to submit to An Bord Pleanála for planning approval.
This year, TII has provided an allocation to Meath County Council of €250,000 to allow the scheme to progress to planning and design.
Traffic problems at Curragha are exacerbated by traffic trying to avoid the delays at Primatestown and also traffic heading to Tayto Park.
The Ashbourne Municipal District Engineer has been installing and maintaining signage at the junction as well as hedge-cutting. Meath County Council has also prepared a preliminary design to calm traffic and improve definition at the junction and safety on the approaches, including the R155 as it passes through the village of Curragh itself.