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Written Answers - Road Network

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 559.  Deputy Willie O’Dea Information on Willie O'Dea Zoom on Willie O'Dea  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  if and when he intends to proceed to construction of the Limerick northern distributor road; if his attention has been drawn to the significant local opposition to the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6460/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Firstly, I would like to explain that the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. It is important to note that works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.

There are two phases to the Limerick Northern Distributor Road. Phase 1 relates to the Coonagh Knockalisheen Road around Moyross. This project is a crucial component of the Limerick Regeneration Plan. This project is progressing through the planning stages. The CPO was submitted to An Bord Pleanála in September 2010 and was subsequently approved by the Bord on 23rd September 2011. There is now a period of 18 months during which the Notices to Treat must be served. Limerick City Council have been allocated €2m towards this project in 2012.

In relation to Phase 2 of this project, it is my understanding that the emerging Preferred Route Corridor was presented at a public consultation in the Radisson Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick, on Wednesday, 18th January 2012. Furthermore, information on the emerging Preferred Route Corridor for Phase 2 was on display with local authority personnel and representatives of Roughan and O’Donovan Consulting Engineers available to answer questions. All comments received at the consultation were recorded and there is a an extended period until the 12th of March during which members of the public will be able to make submissions to Clare County Council. I would encourage members of the public to make their view known through this process.

In respect of regional and local roads my priority is to maintain the roads network. Due to the current financial circumstances, priority is being given to providing funding for projects which are already committed to and therefore it is unlikely that this project will progress any further than route selection at this time.

However, I understand this project is part of a long term plan for the economic development in for Limerick City and its environs within County Clare. Completing the route selection stage will enable the preservation of the route corridor for the project in the relevant local authority plans. This will enable the Council to progress this project in the future when further funds are available.

It should be noted that this project was proposed by the local authority concerned, Clare County Council and is supported by Limerick City Council and Limerick County Council. As Clare County Council is the relevant roads authority in this instance, they are the appropriate body with which to raise further issues relating to this road project.

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