Independent Minister Denis Naughten was the first local politician to confirm the Government ‘green light’ for upgrading of the N5 road section between Ballaghaderreen and Scramogue.
However, Fine Gael Senators Maura Hopkins and Frank Feighan have been quick to emphasise that they had continuously lobbied for this project.
Senator Hopkins said: “I have been consistently raising this issue in the Seanad with Minister Shane Ross. There are very serious safety concerns on this section of road. I am very concerned by the high volumes of traffic, which use the road daily. I am also extremely concerned about motorists’ excessive speeds travelling through Frenchpark, Ballinagare, Tulsk and Strokestown.
“The fact that the project is being submitted now to An Bord Pleanala for approval is very positive. It is critical that this scheme is progressed as quickly as possible in order to improve safety. It will also be important for North Roscommon and the wider region in order to support businesses and attract investment”.
Senator Feighan has said that he has lobbied hard for many years on this issue.
“Earlier this year, Roscommon County Council submitted the business case for this major road project to the Department of Transport for consideration.
“Following this submission, I urged Transport Minister Shane Ross to give the go-ahead for the project’s planning application to be submitted to An Bord Pleanala for approval. I am delighted that the project has now got the green light to move to this stage.
“For anyone who is familiar with this dangerous stretch of road, it’s very evident from a safety perspective how urgent this road project is for residents and motorists alike.
“The Ballaghaderreen to Scramogue scheme has been in the pipeline for many years and hundreds of thousands of euro have already been spent on the pre-construction stages of the project. Significant funds of more than €100m are now required to complete this scheme and I am looking forward to it moving to the construction stage as quickly as possible”.