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N4 - Mullingar to Rooskey [route options published]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,259 ✭✭✭markpb


    So, what about that N4, eh? I hear they’re planning on doing some work to it, possibly between Mullingar and Rooskey.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,915 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    No funding for 2022 for any progression. So quite some wait before we hear anything.



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


    This road was flagged by TII in 2017 as being particularly prone to head on collisions. It (and sections of the N2, N20 and N22) were added to the NDP partially for that reason in 2018.

    Very sad that it’s not considered a priority for this reason alone, besides access to the NW/regional development etc.



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




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭roadmaster


    2 ministers and 2 TDs hounding poor eamon seams to have worked



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  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭DumbBrunette


    That's great news, can we expect a preferred route soon or has that been delayed?

    I'm looking forward to seeing how they plan to link the new route to the N5. From looking at the map, there doesn't seem to be any obvious good solution.



  • Registered Users Posts: 34 FreedomOfSpeechAndChoice


    They'll probably go for a compromise solution, like have the N5 beginning at the new N4's junction with the R194, and then direct traffic along what is now the western end of the current N4 Longford bypass, and onto the N5 where it currently begins now at the roundabout.



  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭DumbBrunette


    I got on to TII about this project and the preferred route corridor is due to be selected by the end of this year.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,915 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Some obvious survey work going on along the route on Friday. Could have been for fibre rather than the road, but there was no branding on the vehicles like there usually is for NBI/Eir!



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


    Latest:

    The project has reached the route options selection phase. Initially, TII was unable to provide an allocation for this project in 2022, given the level of funding available for major road projects. However, funds became available early in the year and it was possible to provide a reallocation in order to progress the options selection phase. As a result of this, the options selection process was reactivated. Studies were subsequently undertaken in relation to various environmental disciplines and additional appraisal was carried out to take account of the national investment framework for transport in Ireland, NIFTI, which was published in December 2021. It is expected that an emerging preferred route corridor will be published in quarter 1, 2023, and that this route options selection process will be completed in quarter 2, 2023.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭DumbBrunette




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


    On the other side of the coin, with the news yesterday of the new Knock-Heathrow route the youth of the north west won't have to use this road anymore when they move to New South Wales. Swings and roundabouts.

    On a more serious note, the NDP in 2018-2027 out of the NPF had a specific list of projects designed to improve accessibility to the North West. Surely of all projects this should be right out there for serving a particular need to connect poorly accessible areas. (It was also flagged for one of the highest rates of head on collisions but safe inter urban roads aren't a priority at the minute).



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    I think you are misrepresenting the current transport policy there. Safety is pretty much the only ground on which interurban upgrades are prioritised.



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


    I don't agree with that, journey times and accessibility are a major factor (or certainly were in the development of Ireland's inter urban routes).



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,974 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek


    I always thought for the sake of national unity, that there should have been an M4 from Kinnegad-Longford and possibly a bit beyond, mostly for the optics.

    It looks really bad that apart from the M1 and M3, there isn't a single motorway in the Republic north of the M6.

    So I still think this scheme should be built as a full motorway, but that will require the removal of Eamon Ryan. We need to wait for him to leave but then this scheme probably wasn't going to construction before then anyway.



  • Registered Users Posts: 574 ✭✭✭Aontachtoir


    If the road were safer, more people might use it, and emissions might increase, so making it safer is now probably illegal. Similarly, if a region is more accessible, that might lead to more emissions, so opening up the northwest to more homes (emissions!), jobs (emissions!!) and investment (emissions!!!) would also now probably be illegal under our self-imposed anti-development straitjacket.

    The roads will be left as they are, and if the good people of the northwest have a problem getting around, that’s not the state’s problem. Or, at least that seems to be the current stance. Why we tolerate these restrictions is another question entirely.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,767 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    You mean apart from the M1, M2, M3 and M4, there isn't a single motorway in the Republic north of the M6!? That's a nonsense argument.

    Eamon Ryan won't make a blind bit of different whether Mullingar - Longford is motorway or not. There are criteria which determine road type and approve the project to proceed to the next phase against certain benchmarks. There is very little chance of the cost of a motorway being approved in this case, regardless of who the minister is. Motorway would also create unnecessary planning difficulties and delays.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,974 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek


    Like I said, national unity.

    The traffic levels on M6 Athlone-Galway (13k at Loughrea) and M9 Kilkenny-Waterford (12k south of KK) aren't enough to justify motorway but they were built anyway.

    N4 at Edgeworthstown showing 13k.

    Figures from here, for 2022.



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


    The M17 would disagree with you there - it is (just) north of the M4.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    Here’s why there are no motorways to the north-west of the country

    That’s the population density of Ireland, from the 2022 census data. I’m strongly in favour of upgrading the national road network, but if I saw a government spending billions just to put blue lines on a map between places where hardly anyone lives, I would want them out of office as soon as possible.

    M20 will be the last major stretch of motorway built in Ireland. For the rest of the primary network, 2+2 will be more than adequate.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,547 ✭✭✭✭joujoujou
    Unregistered Users


    ^^ I can easily imagine someone else making up exactly opposite argument. I mean: it is not "there's no motorway over there because there's low population density", but rather "there's low population density over there due to lack of motorways (and other transport infrastructure)".

    I'm aware of some flaws in that logic, but still... ;-)



  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭DumbBrunette


    Just had a look at the funding history for this project. Just 200k has been allocated for 2023, compared to:

    2018: 400k

    2019: 800k

    2020: 1m

    2021: 2.4m

    2022: 1m (nil initially)

    The size of this year's allocation doesn't seem like enough to progress the project significantly. I hope I'm wrong and we see a preferred route soon.

    Edit: bit of an update here-


    Post edited by DumbBrunette on


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭roadmaster


    It looks like this job as mentioned above is about to stop again according to the local TD in the dail yesterday. Also Leo V said the Carrick on Shannon Bypass will take priority on this route yesterday



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    A shame, but if there isn’t enough funding to do both of these N4 jobs, then Rooskey-Carrick-on-Shannon is the more important one.



  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭DumbBrunette


    It would be a real shame to see it canned after 6m euro was spent on design, on top of what was spent before the project was cancelled the previous time. It really is a very substandard road for the traffic levels and has a poor safety record. Unfortunately TII made it clear in the 2023 allocations that long stretches of new road still in the design phase are at the bottom of the priority list for funding.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,915 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    This is a hideously frustrating road to drive on; and surely has to be more dangerous than the Carrick-on-Shannon bypass section (outside of COS itself, mostly consisting of 1990s grade wide single with very few access roads); but it's the one that ticks the "town bypass" box of being acceptable for the Greens; and will have much more of an impact on average drive times



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭roadmaster


    The amount of Time and Money the state wastes like this. Then you also lose the design team as they will probably have moved on by the time this project gets going again.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,642 ✭✭✭roadmaster


    They should rename it the Ballinalack - Rathowen- Lomgford Bypass



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,767 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    This project, and many others, crawling along was inevitable given the ridiculous policy now of designing many massive projects and spending next to nothing on actual construction. There are billions of Euro worth of projects which will all be looking for a share of the few hundred million budget each year for the second half of this decade. It is obvious that only some will go to construction while others are long-fingered until more funding is available.

    This project is a dead cert for the long finger given traffic volumes, the cost of the project and the two main towns it bypasses are already bypassed. Smaller projects are the only way to advance things on a road like this. The existing road isn't terrible, 10km new road from east of Bunbrosna to west of Rathowen would solve most of the problems on the eastern side of Longford town. A bypass of Newtownforbes is needed on the western side but I think that should be looked at in combination with a N5 Termonbarry bypass.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    It’s not a ridiculous policy. It’s the way everyone else does it: design the best solution, and build it when you can afford to. The opposite, of letting budget dictate the design is what had us rebuild all the junctions on M50..



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