Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
17. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the serious safety or transit time requirements that justify the proposed spend on the Dunkettle interchange (details supplied); if he will compare same to the lack of an appraisal to date with respect to upgrading the N24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59614/21]
As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the new National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2030, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals.
The Dunkettle Interchange is one of the busiest in the country, with up to 110,000 vehicles using it daily. The Interchange has been operating beyond capacity at peak times and this results in significant traffic queues/delays on all of the approach roads, including the Jack Lynch tunnel, which also presents a safety risk.
The upgrade to the Interchange will improve safety by providing clearly designated lanes for traffic with minimal weaving or crossovers of traffic flow, thereby avoiding complex manoeuvres which could lead to accidents. It is also expected that this upgrade will deliver a reduction in traffic flows in the Cork urban network. The Net Present Value across all traffic growth scenarios indicate the scheme will generate substantial reductions in journey times and safety benefits for those using the Interchange, which more than justify the cost of construction. All examined traffic scenarios returned strongly positive Benefit to Cost ratios (BCRs).
Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct and more detailed reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.