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N25 - Carrigtwohill to Midleton [route options published]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN


    I agree with you that N25 should be higher priority than N24.

    But I think the previous poster is right: it was a local development facilitation project, dipping into the national roads budget. The N25 is definitely important and needs to be upgraded, but the piece that's least in need of an upgrade from a national perspective is the bit between Lakeview and Dunkettle.

    Ballyadam site is accessible from the other side for the interconnector and from Hedgy Boreen: it's construction traffic only, so it shouldn't need an interchange at all. So that's not an important development on the site. More important are the Waterrock UEA and industrial park at Ballyadam. They're the traffic generators. But it's catch-22 because their plans are based on them "not generating road traffic".

    The council were trying to have it both ways by allowing two fairly car-oriented developments and saying that "the rail line means that nobody will drive". What would have resulted was the same thing that has resulted everywhere else in the area: 75% of people commuting by car. That's not really OK in 2021, particularly not on an active rail line. They need to design integrated transport infrastructure between Carrigtwohill and Midleton, and stop "unlocking lands for development" onto the national corridor. It needs a distributor road network, because the Carrigane road is not fit for that purpose, and the N25 is not (and should never be) a distributor. They were hoping to feed multiple developments directly out of this new proposed junction. It would have ended up with the same traffic jams as currently occur at Cobh Cross (Carrigtwohill West) and Oatencake (Midleton West).

    They played more games by dressing it up as a "safety" project. Call it what it is - development facilitation - and get the LAP updated accordingly with a dedicated section for this. It's neither Carrigtwohill nor Midleton, it's a big chunk of land between both, about 4km wide, but they just put the new developments 50/50 into one town and the other. It deserves a proper transport plan, surely.


    Edit: If you're looking for the money to spent elsewhere, then look no further than Castlemartyr!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    I said “piggybacking” precisely because N25 is a national route and a Ten-T route, and I think it’s entirely fair to point it out. National routes are not supposed to be collectors for Cork city’s suburban commuters, but that’s been the mode of operation around Cork ever since the original Cork LUTS study in the late 1970s. One of the major drivers of this particular upgrade project was that it would allow increased residential development at Water Rock.

    If that’s the goal, a parallel regional road would be the proper option, but then that would mean funding would have to be found locally, not from the national roads budget. Worse, this pattern of trying to get something for nothing is what has made the National road network around Cork such a disaster for traffic. (I live in Cork city).

    As for N24, it is getting funded because the road is a death-trap in many places. You can’t say that about any part of N25, except the bit that’s being replaced between Glenmore and Waterford City.



  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭rebs23


    Very comprehensive! Thanks but still feel there are many examples of national roads facilitating land unlocking or access for what could be deemed local projects. Isn't that the purpose of some national roads in some instances but really this is politics, a local TD kicks up, funding diverted to some other project and a slap back from the public agency by stopping another project locally!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,562 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    I dont think it has been claimed that "nobody will drive" with new development. The fact is that new development on the scale proposed here will result in some increase in traffic, this would be inevitable with or without the road upgrade. Some of that traffic will be looking to access the national road network so not having a junction here just shifts it to another junction and adds traffic to the roads enroute. Preventing additional car commuting is done by providing viable alternatives (which is happening with the greenway and Cork suburban rail project) and prioritising public/active travel in urban areas and around employment hubs, not by ignoring substandard sections of N roads.

    A Castlemartyr bypass will also attract more car commuters, possibly more than the Carrigtwohill - Midleton upgrade as there are no public transport options. It would also compound the problems at Lakeview. Carrigtwohill - Midleton needs upgrading in any case, even if traffic doesn't increase.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,784 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    It doesn't change the fact though, that the N25 is a TEN-T route and a comprehensive upgrade of it has never been on the cards, unlike all the other TEN-T routes in the country, pretty much. Where is the plan for 2+2 from Cork to Rosslare? Most of the sections aren't even in planning.


    That said, here we are thinking of replacing a dual carriageway with a.... dual carriageway and a side road. Its not much. They aren't even properly fixing the merging issues westbound at Midleton. They completely ignored Lakeview. This is just to facilitate development. Yes, I would like to see it built, but there are far more deserving schemes/bypasses on the N25. Castlemartyr, Killeagh, Dungarvan - in that order - if we are cheaping it out and only going for town bypasses (Though there is no cheap option for Dungarvan). But a proper plan for, say, "N25 Midleton to Waterford" and "N25 New Ross to Wexford" need to exist, a la N24.


    Yes they are big schemes but they are no more ambitious really than the N24 projects.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN



    Yeah you're right, let's be fair they didn't say "nobody will drive" but it was pretty light: "Cork County Council have commissioned the Water Rock Strategic Transport Assessment for the Water Rock UEA. Based on the completion of extensive traffic modelling work for this assessment (using industry standard software and most current data) infrastructure projects 1, 3, 4 and 6 will allow the development of Phase 1 of the Water Rock UEA i.e. 1054 housing units, a new primary school and office, retail and leisure space without significant impacts on the local road network."

    I don't think it's reasonable to call it an "upgrade" project either, the project was mostly a new interchange. And to be clear, I am absolutely 100% in favour of a new interchange and also in favour of developing the lands. I'd be willing to wager I'd use the new interchange as much (possibly more!) than anyone on here. I just think they should design the transport network between Carrigtwohill and Midleton properly and not do piecemeal hack jobs on it.

    I don't think the Castlemartyr bypass is as significant an issue as you describe because there are no meaningful alternative transport options in East Cork and the rail line isn't coming back in the short to medium term. It is an interurban route, in fairness. I think that one, lakeview and Killeagh are very much in the realm of "national route" rather than "local development".



  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN


    "Piecemeal hack jobs" is a bit harsh of me.

    But if you look at what they plan for Carrigtwohill, and Midleton, and compare it with what they have planned to connect to this new interchange, they're worlds apart. It comes back to the same thing: don't just plop in a new interchange with no plan for where the traffic will go, the local/distributor road tie-in is surely as important as the interchange itself.

    They're in the process of zoning the land, and putting an asterisk on it, saying "we shouldn't allow the development until the infrastructure is done", but we've seen that endless times in the past: the development gets permitted onto the existing infrastructure because "new infrastructure is coming soon" and then it's just put out on the never never.

    Anyway, as I say, if they bring this one back with a proper infrastructure plan for the area, I'll be in favour of it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    @Chris_5339762 - Traffic levels on New Ross to Wexford are so low (<8,000 AADT) that they would not justify a dual carriageway for a long time yet, and while the existing road might be a single-carriageway, it is a wide and well-aligned one. N25 Wexford to Rosslare, which is earmarked for an upgrade, was always a worse section, and that upgrade is likely to be 2+2 only because it will carry a lot of traffic from both M11 and N25 into Rosslare port.

    (Glenmore to Waterford, the other section being upgraded to 2+2, has AADT of over 11,000, which is creeping toward the limit for a single-carriageway, but it’s also a very unsafe road)

    The section of N25 between Ballinamona and Windgap (the “over the mountains” bit between Dungarvan and Youghal) is also not in need of upgrade. While this would be the cheapest to upgrade the mainline to 2+2 - you can see that when they did the blasting on this, they were planning for a much wider road in future - the real costs would be to grade-separate the small number of very lightly used junctions, which would be hard to justify on cost/benefit grounds, given that the existing single carriageway has such low traffic levels are very low, and the road is wide and safe. In decades of driving this route, I have never experienced a delay on this stretch for any reason.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,562 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    The N25 has nothing to do with TEN-T, it's on E30 but that doesn't mean that it is earmarked for funding. I've said it before but Ireland should be looking to get E30 rerouted via the M8 and N24. An upgraded N24 would linked up the southern third of the island and tie together the M7, M8, M9 and M11 plus indirectly the M18, M21 and future M20. It achieves far greater connectivity than upgrading the N25.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN


    It could achieve greater overall connectivity, I agree, but as we've discussed here, quite a lot of the N25 traffic is based on the route itself. It's a bit like the N20 in that regard, the end-to-end trips wouldn't necessarily be high numbers. So you end up needing to do chunks of the N25 anyway.

    Now, says you, maybe that's the point to throw in serious sustainable transport on the N25 corridor instead of upgrading the road. But some bits like Lakeview are real problems and probably need to be done regardless. And I don't know if sustainable transport is really viable for places like Aghada, Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Dungourney.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭KrisW1001



    N24-N8 is significantly longer — and will get slightly longer as N24 is realigned — and has worse gradients. It also approaches Cork the wrong way: A large amount of the N25 freight traffic goes no further West than Little Island, so a Routing of Waterford traffic via M8 puts additional load on Dunkettle for no good reason.

    The idea is a non-runner, and has been rejected every time it as been proposed. Freight will still use N25 as it’s shorter and more efficient - distance is the biggest factor in road haulage costs, and N25 would end up around 5 km shorter than it is now if the long-term upgrades go ahead.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,391 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    Places like Dungourney,aghada ect , (hell even midleton itself ) have very dispersed populations , aghada and whitegate are relatively small villages , with loads of houses spread out across the hillside - so off current methods of public transport - they'd drive down the hill to the village - get the bus to either midleton or Cork - midleton train station is a bit out of the way ( hence the huge but empty car park ) so that's probably a no no ,plus being delivered to Kent station , means another trip to get to your destination - ( unless you work on horgans quay ) little island and carrigtohil are as bad ...

    You'd be mad not to drive -

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN


    Agreed with the previous two posts. So the N25 traffic isn't really going anywhere. It probably needs an upgrade in the future.

    Again, I'm in favour of a Milebush interchange too, just would like to see it connected to a distributor network that doesn't consist of one new road pinned up against the N25, and the Carrigane road on the opposite side.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,562 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    I was making the point that a large scale upgrade of the N25 between Midleton and Waterford is extremely unlikely. Most of the towns en-route have been bypassed and the road is generally suitable for the volumes it carries. The N24 on the other hand needs new bypasses at a minimum and would link up much more than just the south so it's not surprising that it wouldbe ahead in the queue. Yes bypasses of Castlemartyr and Killeagh are needed but pinning hopes on a full DC bypass will see little happening for many years.

    I find it very odd that people are decrying a necessary upgrade of an existing DC due to planned development focused on vastly improved rail services, in favour of 12km of new build DC serving small towns and a dispersed rural population. The suggestion that the former shouldn't proceed due to increasing traffic, while the latter should proceed makes little sense.

    The volumes east of Midleton has limited national cross country traffic, so upgrades east of Midleton would be similarly to facilitate mostly local traffic movements, except there is no alternative unlike from Midleton west. If the goal is modal shift then Carrigtwohill - Midleton should be priority, some additional traffic is of limited concern when there is scope to accommodate our growing population along with a new commuter rail service. Any additional population east of Midleton will be just as car dependent as the current population there.



  • Registered Users Posts: 38 OpinionN


    The section west of Midleton has no tailbacks ever, whereas Castlemartyr has 15-20 min tailbacks for large chunks of the day. From a national route perspective, the difference is significant.

    You're saying "a necessary upgrade of an existing DC" but that's not really borne out on the ground. It's not a particularly unsafe stretch of road. And there was a proposal to deal with the unsafe pieces, which was turned down in favour of a full new interchange.

    Nobody here (to my knowledge) has said that it shouldn't proceed due to increased traffic, rather that it shouldn't proceed as a national infrastructure project: it's a development facilitation project. On the other hand, the "planned development focused on vastly improved rail services" as you've put it received no funding for those rail services and consists of around 50-60%% low-density dwellings and industrial estates. Nobody's cribbing about it, but it's not quite focused on the rail line in the way that you describe. The Council don't even pretend that it is, if you look at their own LAP. Some land parcels will focus on the rail line and will be considered sustainable, but a significant number (possibly a majority) will not. And they don't hide that fact at all in their LAP, in fairness to them. Significant amounts of the land parcels marked for development are focused on Carrigane Road and Midleton Northern Ring Road. There is no distributor road network designed for these developments. Their traffic will necessarily join the Midleton Northern Ring Road or Carrigane Road. That's what I'm complaining about.

    I don't fully agree with the statement that "if the goal is modal shift then Carrigtwohill-Midleton should be the priority" because it's currently possible to develop the pieces of that land parcel that will centre on the rail line. For instance Waterrock UEA phase 1 has approval, but no rail station. And on the other side, Elmbury is currently under construction 250m from the rail line, with no prospect of a future rail stop on that side of the village. So the two things don't necessarily go hand in hand at all. Yes in a perfect world, they'd develop that area sustainably, but as I've been saying over and over, that's not currently happening. Developments are approved and under construction right now and there's neither a train station nor distributor road network. So in a perfect world, they'd be putting in a distributor road system in the area. And we're back to square one: that's not a national infrastructure project!

    They were just "unlocking development land" onto the N25 as I keep saying.

    So yeah, back to my first point: if you're putting in an interchange then put in the distributor roads that connect to it too.



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,299 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21




  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭rebs23


    That will never happen thankfully (E30). N25 (E30)links our 3 Southern Ports, one of them the only multi modal port outside of Dublin and connects Rosslare to the main tourism markets in the South of Ireland (Cork & Kerry). It links Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Wexford and provides the national linkages to a significantly greater population and economic base than the N24. The N25 between Youghal and Cork has greater volumes of traffic than some motorways, the above proposal would mean a large volume of traffic entering Cork City on the one road/entrance. There is only one motorway in and out of Cork City. There are serious capacity constraints on a significant number of roads around Cork City due to no investment in the national road network in the region in decades. As the link above illustrates it is affecting investment decisions and needs funding to bring it to a ready to go stage and support local, regional and national planning policy and investment decisions.



  • Registered Users Posts: 440 ✭✭Limerick74


    Some stalled road projects being reviewed: Tánaiste (rte.ie) Could this N25 project get a reprieve from the TII funding suspension given the IDA interest?



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,299 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    That's madness. Council appealing to TII to progress a project to allow them to expand lands for development, because the original Council effort was of low quality.

    The councilor is talking so much rubbish here: "traffic is being backed up onto the motorway". It's not a motorway, and traffic is being backed up because you and your colleagues allowed enormous amounts of development on and around the junction and relief roads, buddy.

    Blaming TII here is outrageous as far as I'm concerned.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,562 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    Even if the population didn't increase and no houses were built in the area, this section needs to be sorted out. Doubly so if they really intend increasing road capacity east of Midleton, that will only add to the problems.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,784 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    I still think this one needs sorted eventually (especially the Midleton westbound slip), but its a dual carriageway already and there are very rarely accidents on it... so there is a lot to be done before this section should be prioritised.

    It only ended up in the queue originally because Amgen were coming, then it stayed on the menu once they left.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    The Oatencake junction for Midleton heading West is a shockingly bad design, and needs improvement. There are also still median crossings on this road, and even if they’re rarely used, they pose a danger. I’d argue that the rarity of traffic using them makes them more dangerous: certainly scared the shite out of me early one dark morning to see a car dart across my path.

    But these would be relatively small jobs, and didn’t need a project of the scale of the proposed works, and it’s rich for councillors to moan about delays and safety, because as Hans pointed out, it was the Council themselves who expanded the scale of this project toward land-development, and in doing so they delayed it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    They wanted to open up the land between Midleton and Carrigtohill for low-density development sprawl. That's the entire play here from the Council. Don't be fooled by talk of safety or even housing. They hoped to put in another retail warehouse/business park at the north side of the junction. And the whole thing is a few hundred metres from a commuter rail line but there was no talk of a station. The whole thing was a really transparent effort from the Council to "unlock lands for development" using TII funds. They even let the veil drop a few times in the media and said it straight out.

    To improve safety on that road, you'd also be hoping to get agri vehicles and vulnerable users off it but these weren't a priority whatsoever. Almost no thought at all was given to them. And they make up a surprisingly high proportion of the end users.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,784 ✭✭✭Chris_5339762


    Oh absolutely. Its a product of the 1980s though really, when the Midleton bypass was built. Really, getting a dual carriageway back then was a huge thing for Cork. Ok the bridges aren't wide enough for hard shoulders, but its a fantastic piece of road. Except for Oatencake west. Thats constrained by the massive old house to the south of the carriageway - you can't CPO land I don't think there without undermining the house!


    I think the selected option for Carrigtwohill - Midleton involves tweaks only - possibly by relocating the carriagway a few meters to the north to fill in a slight gap between the west and east carriageways, and making the slip road slightly bigger. But it still isn't fantastic.



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,299 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,326 ✭✭✭KrisW1001


    When you piggyback your development plans on goverment funded national infrastructure, don't come whining when the government changes its priorities.

    Cork has been doing this parasitical development for decades, and it's a big reason why it's so hard to get from one side of the place to the other. How about building a new local road for once, instead of loading everyone onto the N25?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    I don't even think any of what's written in that article is true. A new junction to N25 wasn't listed as needed when Waterrock got approval: it got approval on the basis that it would create no more car traffic!



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,562 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan


    Cork County Council are planning on building local roads under the Carrigtwohill Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) Initiative – Urban Expansion Area (UEA) Infrastructure. Drawing package is here;

    These roads can't exist in isolation and have to connect to adequate N roads. The N road in question is already a legacy mess and needs upgrading regardless.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl


    None of those new URDF and UEA roads really link to the section of N25 proposed for upgrade. I'm in favour of that URDF project, and I'm very much directly impacted. The proposed UEA roads all link westward, exactly where you expect all the traffic to come to/from. So I believe it's Cobh Cross that would need the upgraded junction for that UEA, rather than the Milebush/Waterrock side. I reckon very few people are going to access that UEA via Milebush, merging with all the Waterrock and Midleton West traffic and then coming back towards Cork, almost everyone will be going through Terrysland and out to Cobh Cross.

    And why am I OK with this? Because of the levels of employment in Carrigtohill and Little Island, both a short distance from the new UEA. Because of the massive new schools complexes right in the middle. And because of the levels of sustainable transport proposed: a greenway, two railway stations and cycle lanes throughout. I think this is one of those rare proposals where a good mode share can actually be achieved. Maybe I'm being too optimistic!

    YIMBY, basically. I don't think the milebush junction needs to be created for this new UEA, and I'm unusually optimistic about the mode shares that can be achieved.



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