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[Article] Overloaded roads to become unsafe as funding dries up

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  • 08-11-2016 12:41am
    #1
    Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,356 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    A refreshing article of quotes from TII's chief executive Michael Nolan in the Indo today:

    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/overloaded-roads-to-become-unsafe-as-funding-dries-up-35193661.html
    Large parts of the national road network will be overloaded and operating above safe limits by 2030 if traffic volumes continue to grow.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has also warned it needs an additional €120m a year just to keep the network in working order, and that it will cost more in the long term to complete necessary repairs unless extra funding is allocated.

    Speaking to the Irish Independent, TII chief executive Michael Nolan said upgrades ranging from small schemes costing between €5m and €15m, coupled with larger projects linking major towns and cities, were needed.

    It is understood as many as 50 major new roads are required across the network, including the M20 linking Cork to Limerick, as well as up to 100 smaller projects. Mr Nolan also warned the pipeline of projects was "drying up".

    TII, which replaced the National Roads Authority, currently has 20 small schemes under construction and, once completed, there will be no replacement projects.

    The Government has committed to 13 schemes in the Building on Recovery capital investment plan, with eight approved and shovel-ready. Five more, including the Galway City bypass, have funding to complete the planning process.

    However, work has not yet started on designing or planning 150 schemes that TII says are needed.

    "What's on the ground this year and when they finish next year, is probably it. It will come to a grinding halt. We just don't have the funding (to bring projects through planning)," he said. "Most of these schemes would be schemes with poor alignments. If we had a blank cheque, we'd like to do another 100 (smaller schemes) up to 2020 at a cost of around €750m.

    "We have a number of projects listed for construction in the seven-year capital plan, and funding of €730m is there.

    "On the downside, 90pc of the money is in the last three years of the plan, from 2019.

    "The worst thing that could happen to us is in five years, to have no schemes."

    TII said that by 2030, most unfinished segments of the network would be more than 20pc over capacity. On the national primary routes, large sections of road in Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal need upgrading, while on the national secondary network works are required across large swathes of the Midlands, the south-west, Galway and the north-east.

    At the upper end of the scale is the €700m M20 Cork to Limerick motorway. This would provide a counterpoint to Dublin in terms of attracting foreign direct investment, Mr Nolan said. This is because the motorway would complete a link with Cork, Limerick and Galway, offer access to Shannon Airport and allow for sustained development in the south and west of the country.

    Spot on here. The existing network in places is falling apart, and the road death rate won't fall much further with the current state of the network, especially cattle tracks like the N52.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,164 ✭✭✭lottpaul


    The "minor" N roads are dreadful in places and TII/NRA or whoever need to bite the bullet and downgrade the default 100km speed limit for many of them. I had the misfortune to take the N63 from Galway to Roscommon lately and hopefully will never have to take it again. (Actually, that's not really fair -- the countryside was very attractive and full of interesting monuments and well kept villages - I'd love to go back - but dear God, the roads!!) It really really does not deserve an N rating - it's twisting and narrow, in several places you yield to traffic from R roads and all the while signs remind you that 100km is the speed limit.
    The same is true I'm sure for many others.
    On the other hand the N17 and N5 were very good in places and if a few more towns and villages were bypassed that section of the Galway/Mayo network would be very good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    lottpaul wrote: »
    The "minor" N roads are dreadful in places and TII/NRA or whoever need to bite the bullet and downgrade the default 100km speed limit for many of them. I had the misfortune to take the N63 from Galway to Roscommon lately and hopefully will never have to take it again. (Actually, that's not really fair -- the countryside was very attractive and full of interesting monuments and well kept villages - I'd love to go back - but dear God, the roads!!) It really really does not deserve an N rating - it's twisting and narrow, in several places you yield to traffic from R roads and all the while signs remind you that 100km is the speed limit.
    The same is true I'm sure for many others.
    On the other hand the N17 and N5 were very good in places and if a few more towns and villages were bypassed that section of the Galway/Mayo network would be very good.
    How much of the N5 needs more work? I'm not wondering about just Tulsk here, I just can't see it as a pressing need. I think the TII's comments are more about protecting their turf in response to the well-publicised funding issue in that Irish Rail report.

    And woe betide if CIE get a big project like the Interconnector built. What will all the road and tram guys do? :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,164 ✭✭✭lottpaul


    How much of the N5 needs more work?


    N5 is excellent -- I was thinking more of the N17 with places like Ballindine and Milltown which could be bypassed, and maybe a few climbing lanes here and there. Otherwise the main N roads are very good - its the secondary Ns I'd really have issues with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭Richie Blackmor


    Hate to disagree but I drive the N5 in alternate directions (W-E, E-W) every 4 days (have done so for 14 years for work in Dublin) and that section between Frenchpark and Strokestown is definietly not in my 'excellent' catagory. I always feel like if I am going to be involved in an incident, it will be on this section.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,356 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Hate to disagree but I drive the N5 in alternate directions (W-E, E-W) every 4 days (have done so for 14 years for work in Dublin) and that section between Frenchpark and Strokestown is definietly not in my 'excellent' catagory. I always feel like if I am going to be involved in an incident, it will be on this section.
    The N5 from Westport to Castlebar is to be dualled beginning 2019. From Castlebar to east of Ballaghaderreen it is high quality, with SC from Turlough passing Swinford and onto the very high quality Charlestown bypass. The Ballaghaderreen bypass (2014) starts at the eastern end of the Charlestown bypass and ends a few km east of Ballaghaderreen. From there to Strokestown is fairly bad, but it runs through an archaelogical minefield, so it can't be upgraded online.

    TII are currently racing forward with a plan to upgrade the N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown, although it's a very windy route to compensate for all the artefacts that have to be avoided. A better plan would be to continue the N5 east of Ballaghaderreen and meet the N4 further north to avoid this mess at Rathcrogan.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,356 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Hate to disagree but I drive the N5 in alternate directions (W-E, E-W) every 4 days (have done so for 14 years for work in Dublin) and that section between Frenchpark and Strokestown is definietly not in my 'excellent' catagory. I always feel like if I am going to be involved in an incident, it will be on this section.
    The N5 from Westport to Castlebar is to be dualled beginning 2019. From Castlebar to east of Ballaghaderreen it is high quality, with SC from Turlough passing Swinford and onto the very high quality Charlestown bypass. The Ballaghaderreen bypass (2014) starts at the eastern end of the Charlestown bypass and ends a few km east of Ballaghaderreen. From there to Strokestown is fairly bad, but it runs through an archaelogical minefield, so it can't be upgraded online.

    TII are currently racing forward with a plan to upgrade the N5 between Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown, although it's a very windy route to compensate for all the artefacts that have to be avoided. A better plan would be to continue the N5 east of Ballaghaderreen and meet the N4 further north to avoid this mess at Rathcrogan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,858 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    That Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown section is awful. It needs an upgrade far more than the rest of the N5. Windy, narrow, slow. Awful. Was stuck behind a lorry for its entire section recently... nauseating.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,356 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    Discussion about the TII's need for more funding (most importantly the M20) including a chat with the Minister for State for Waffling and Talking **** Patrick O'Donovan on the Last Word with Matt Cooper.

    Link uploaded here for ease of use: http://www.filedropper.com/lastwordmotorways16nov


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