A TOTAL of €4m is being made available by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), for the Ballydehob to Bantry section of the N71.
The cash injection – for resurfacing – will be welcomed in the area as that particular part of the main Cork to Bantry route has been the scene of many accidents in recent years.
Cork South West Fine Gael TD Jim Daly confirmed the news earlier this week, adding that the funding had been announced following a meeting he had requested with the chief executive of TII Michael Nolan.
The junior Health Minister had called for the meeting to discuss a number of areas on the N71 in West Cork. ‘I had a very constructive meeting and during the course of the meeting Mr Nolan confirmed to me that he will make available €4m for a completely new resurface of the road from Ballydehob to Bantry.
‘Over the last few months the N71 has been undergoing a range of resurfacing and repair works in Bandon, Lisavaird, Leap and Skibbereen. It is important that the TII continues its work out West to cover towns and villages along the N71, such as Ballydehob and Bantry,’ he told The Southern Star.
‘Over the last five years, the TII has invested €10m into the N71 to dramatically improve the standards of the road for those who commute to work in West Cork and for tourists who travel the highly popular Wild Atlantic Way,’ he said, adding that he would keep the pressure on the TII to meet deadlines on the project.
Although Bantry to Cork commuters tend to use the R586 route via Drimoleague, the N71 national primary route directs motorists to travel via Skibbereen and Ballydehob, over the Barnagaoithe gap, which can be treacherous in winter time.
It is also the route that tourists using sat nav are directed along, if travelling from Skibbereen or Clonakilty to Bantry and onwards into Co Kerry.