Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Projects

Photo of Jennifer Murnane O'ConnorJennifer Murnane O'Connor (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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74. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport given the recent serious incidents, including a fatal collision, if there is a safety programme for the N80; if the removal of bends in the Leagh area is being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13094/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I wish thank the Deputy for her question, which raises the important matter of road safety.

A major priority in the National Development Plan is to maintain the quality and safety of the existing national road network. TII periodically carries out a collision analysis of the entire national road network, as required by TII guidelines, as well as pro-active safety inspections. The purpose of this combined process is to identify locations that have high concentrations of collisions or potential collisions.

The subsequent process of preparing any proposals to identify road safety interventions is the responsibility of the relevant local authority, as the road authority for the area, and in this regard, TII has previously funded works to improve warning signage and to install three Vehicle Activated Sign installations to warn motorists of the approaching bends at this location.

It should be noted that the Leagh Bends section of the N80 was not classified as a High Collision Location in the most recent round of analysis between 2020 and 2022, however, a marked increase in collisions was recorded in 2023, in addition to the recent tragic incident at the end of January of this year.

I am pleased to advise the Deputy that a safety scheme for the N80 at Leagh Bends is currently being developed by Carlow County Council in partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland. This will lead to the re-alignment of approximately 3km of the N80, removing a number of dangerous bends at that location. The project is currently nearing the end of the Design and Environmental Evaluation phase. It is anticipated that Carlow County Council will submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanála in Quarter 2 of this year.

In 2024, TII's Protection and Renewal Programme for National Roads was allocated approximately €11 million in additional funding to support safety interventions such as this. These are an integral and essential part of TII's ongoing Protection and Renewal work on our National Roads.


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