Donohue Keen to See Cork Kerry Road Progressed
Griffin Campaigning Hard for N22
Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) Kerry
Monday, September 22nd 2014
KERRY Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, has been told by the new Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, that he is keen to see the N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom and Ovens Road progressed.
Minsister Donohoe was responding to the most recent Dáil Question on the issue from Deputy Griffin, in which he asked the position regarding the possibility of building the new road from Kerry to Cork via Ballyvourney and Macroom. The raising of the issue in the Dáil follows two meetings that Deputy Griffin had with Minister Donohoe on the proposed new road in August and September.
Deputy Griffin believes that there is robust economic argument for the new road and that it would make Kerry far more attractive for foreign direct investment and tourism by cutting journey times to and from Cork. Deputy Griffin also believes that it would provide opportunities for many Kerry people to commute to jobs in Cork safely and in viable travel times and that the new road would have a positive impact on healthcare provision, in view of the large volume of people that travel from Kerry to Cork daily for medical treatment.
In his Dail response, Minister Donohoe said that the general approach he has taken to future capital projects is to keep under review projects at various stages of planning and design which have been evaluated and appraised in order to have a pipeline of suitable “shovel ready” projects ready to avail of any funding opportunities that may arise.
Minister Donohoe told Deputy Griffin that the N22 Ballyvourney – Macroom project, which has been approved by An Bord Pleanála and where land is being acquired, is as such a “shovel ready” project. He said that this project could be advanced as a PPP in the future and that given the state of the public finances it will only prove possible in the medium term to advance projects such as this through PPPs rather than direct Exchequer funding. Minister Donohoe said that work has started on the preparation of the next capital programme and that he will have to prioritise the maintenance and upkeep of existing infrastructure and the scope for progressing new projects under this programme will very much depend on the level of funding available.
He concluded by saying that he recognises the benefit of this road to the counties of Cork and Kerry and that he is keen to see it progressed if possible.
Deputy Griffin has been constantly raising the issue of the N22 with Minister Leo Varadkar since 2011 and now Minister Donohoe, and very much welcomes the new Minister’s recognition of the benefit of the road.
“I have been raising the need for the new N22 at every opportunity since I was elected to the Dáil and see it as one the Kerry’s most important outstanding infrastructural projects. I welcome Minister Donohoe’s reference to the possibility of progressing the road as a PPP project, as was previously indicated to me by Minister Varadkar.
“I will continue to lobby for this road to be allocated capital funding, all the time highlighting that it is a “shovel ready scheme” and will continue to push sensible options, such as bundling the project with the M8 Dunkettle Interchange project if it means a successful outcome can be achieved sooner. I have also met the Taoiseach specifically about the need for the new road and he very much agrees with my position on it.
“The poor road link to Cork is holding this county back and is a serious quality of life issue for the people of Kerry. As a TD for the county, I see this is a major priority to fight for.”
Notes: PQ below – Attached photos of where the N22 narrows on the Kerry side of Ballyvourney and of Brendan discussing the issue with Minister Donohoe during his vist to Kerry earlier this month.
Dáil Question No: 260
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the inclusion of the N21 Ballyvourney to Macroom road improvement scheme in any upcoming capital investment plan, possibly a PPP bundled with the Dunkettle Interchange; his further views on the many benefits that the construction of this section of road would bring, including improving Kerry’s chances of outside investment, cutting journey times to Cork for all motorists, including commuters and patients attending CUH, opening up the Cork jobs market to Kerry residents, making Kerry more accessible for tourists, making the road safer for all users; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Brendan Griffin.
* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 18th September, 2014.
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe
I note the Deputy put a similar question (oral PQ 27095/14) on the Ballyvourney Macroom road scheme to my predecessor Minister Varadkar on 26 June, 2014. The position as outlined to the Deputy on 26 June remains the same. The general approach I will take to future capital projects is to keep under review projects at various stages of planning and design which have been evaluated and appraised in order to have a pipeline of suitable “shovel ready” projects ready to avail of any funding opportunities that may arise. The N22 Ballyvourney – Macroom project which has been approved by An Bord Pleanála and where land is being acquired is such a project. This project could be advanced as a PPP in the future. Given the state of the public finances it will only prove possible in the medium term to advance projects such as this through PPPs rather than direct Exchequer funding. Work is underway on the preparation of the next capital programme. As the Deputy will appreciate, I will have to prioritise the maintenance and upkeep of existing infrastructure and the scope for progressing new projects under this programme will very much depend on the level of funding available. However, I recognise the benefit of this road to the counties of Cork and Kerry and am keen to see it progressed if possible.