Tuesday 21 May 2019

Mallow relief road 'on back burner'

Candidate claims long-sought road has again slipped down the priority list for third time in a decade

Maria Herlihy

For the third time in over a decade the Mallow relief road has "once again been put on the back burner", according to a Labour candidate in the upcoming local elections. 

This, said James Kennedy, is despite the Government's commitment in its capital programme to start construction in 2020 and complete the project by 2023. 

"Once again, massive overspending in capital projects elsewhere  has resulted in the Mallow road being 're-profiled' with the promise that it will be considered again when the M20 motorway comes on stream at an unspecified date," said Mr Kennedy.

He said the latest decision not to proceed came about despite a number of independent economic reports clearly stating that the Mallow Road could be separately constructed and would later fit seamlessly into the M20 motorway. 

"This, as I understand it, is the position now again being taken by the senior engineers involved from Cork County Council and I would fully support this," he said. 

He said he is doing this because he believes that the "crucial element" in resolving Mallow's chronic traffic and parking crisis is the construction of the relief road. 

"There would be other benefits flowing from a relief road,  which would take traffic from the N72/N73 away from the congested narrow streets and facilitate the economic development of Mallow town and the surrounding area," said Mr Kennedy. 

Outlining sections of the International Economics Consultant's report four years ago, just some of the positives by having a relief road included the direct transportation benefits through reduced journey times and reduced costs along with the facilitation of the commercial restoration of Mallow town, coupled with enhancing the capacity to boost tourism in Mallow and surrounding areas. 

While the report stated that the overall cost of the project would be in the region of €30-€35 million, there would be a €90 million economic benefit to Mallow.