independent

Sunday 21 July 2019

Road saw almost 30 deaths in 30 years

Mid-February start on lethal stretch of the N4 after €150m funding

Paul Deering

It's a stretch of the N4 that has claimed the lives of 27 people in 30 years and a Government has finally gotten around to giving it the green light for funding which will allow a February start date.

Transport Minister Shane Ross has gained approval from Government to award a contract to replace what he described as the "notoriously dangerous" section of the N4 Sligo to Dublin road from Collooney to Castlebaldwin.

Apart from the 30 fatalities on that section of the N4, accidents have also resulted in 87 serious and 897 minor injuries.

Minister Ross said: "Over the decades there have been many serious collisions and fatalities in this area.

"There are families and communities in the North West region who are still suffering the loss of loved ones who have died on this road.

"Many others have been seriously injured. After a fatality in 2015, this section was described by the Sligo County Coroner as possibly the worst road in Ireland. This is not acceptable.

"Good roads can save lives. On behalf of this Government and local representatives, I'm pleased that this road will now be rebuilt to a modern standard.

"It is an investment package of approximately €150 million.

"When complete it will enhance safety by dividing traffic and offer an improved road alignment for all those travelling along the N4/M4 between Sligo and Dublin.

"It will also contribute greatly to the quality of life of those who live in the North West regions of rural Ireland.

"A better, safer road network leads to improvements in employment, education, healthcare and social cohesion - as well as saving lives.

"Nevertheless, no matter how good a road is, every motorist must take all necessary caution when driving a motorised vehicle - a lethal weapon.

"In the aftermath of an extremely tragic week on our roads I appeal to all drivers to please keep to the speed limits, don't drink and drive, wear your seatbelt at all times and never use a mobile phone while driving.

Michael Nolan CEO Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) stated: "This is a welcome announcement and TII looks forward to working with Sligo County Council and the contractor Roadbridge to achieve this project's completion in 2021."

The project is part of the Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027.

Minister Ross is due to turn the first sod on the project on February 25th and while also in Sligo do the same on the WD road and Eastern Bridge route.

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