Cork East Fine Gael TD David Stanton has written to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, and to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, following reports that the planned upgrade of the N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton may have been stalled.
SWECO, an international firm of consulting engineers with offices in Cork was appointed by Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in January 2020 to progress the scheme through to design and associated environmental assessment stages. It is understood that the value of this contract was €1,200,000 with a considerable portion of this work having now been completed.
The existing N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton is of a lesser standard than the rest of the Cork Midleton route. This is one of the busiest roads in Munster and traffic tail backs onto the dual carriageway are frequently experienced at peak times. Historical local access onto the carriageway coupled with crossing medians also make for serious safety hazards.
Deputy Stanton said: “I am very worried about the future of both the Midleton and Carrigtwohill master plans as they are dependent on the N25 being upgraded. The future of the Midleton Water Rock housing development is of particular concern. This envisages the provision of over 2,500 badly needed housing units over the next number of years.
“The Government has made €5.5 million available under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) towards the improvement of local roads and junctions in addition to the development of a services corridor link road, access roads and surface water drainage in order to facilitate this delivery of housing. These works are due to commence very soon but without the planned N25 upgrade it is hard to see how the increased population will be accommodated.
“The IDA owned site at Ballyadam just east of Carrigtwohill would also be significantly impacted by any delay to the proposed N25 upgrade. This site comprises 54 hectares of fully zoned land in close proximity to Cork city (18 km) and Cork airport (23.8 km). This site is effectively landlocked at present with those wishing to travel to Cork from the site having to travel east as far as Midleton in order to access the westward side of the N25. It was envisaged that a flyover would have been included in the upgrade which would have made the IDA land more accessible and attractive to investment.
“I have written to the Tánaiste and Ministers concerned regarding the reported stalling of the project and await their response. However, I plan to raise this issue when the Dáil resumes later this month as I am anxious to find out what decisions have been made in relation to the planned upgrade of the N25, if these plans have been abandoned or just postponed or if the intention is to facilitate the project to conclusion”, concluded David Stanton.