CLARITY is needed on whether funding allocated for vital safety works along dangerous stretches of the N73 Mallow to Mitchelstown road is still available to draw down this year.
Last December Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) announced that Clogher-Waterdyke road realignment scheme and €100,000 to the Annakisha South road improvement scheme.
At the time Mallow-based Cork East Labour TD Seán Sherlock described the allocations as ‘deeply disappointing’, saying it would not be enough to make any significant progress on either project during 2022.
“This is a concern to me. We were hoping that we would have an allocation in the millions as opposed to in the hundreds of thousands on these schemes, and I’m not sure that it will make any difference to improving the road over the next 12-months,” said Deputy Sherlock.
“In fact, the reality is that it won’t make one bit of a difference,” he added.
Deputy Sherlock has this week expressed concern that the funding for the N73 projects could be pulled altogether, after it emerged that planned multi-million Euro upgrade of the N25 Carrigtwohill-Midleton road has been shelved due to a lack of Government funding.
Local public representatives criticised the decision, with Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucy saying it had come as a shock to the system.
Deputy Sherlock said there were now concerns that the decision could have a knock-on impact on other road schemes across the county, including the two N73 projects.
“Before Christmas we were assured of some funding for the N73 to repair the areas at Annakisha and Clogher Cross. While the funding was in itself negligible and came nowhere near what is needed to make the road safe. We now need clarity on whether that funding is still even there,” said Deputy Sherlock.
He said it would appear that “every cent” of available funding for Cork has been channelled to the upgrade of the Dunkettle interchange and the Macroom bypass.
“We need to critically evaluate just where the Government is directing funds. Promises were made for the delivery of road projects, road projects that are critical for safe transport and journeys. Those promises would appear to be broken now,
“We urgently need clarity on this issue and I have written, yet again, to the Minister for Transport to seek that clarity,” he added.