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No funding for ‘priority' N71 in 2016 road grants

February 2nd, 2016 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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THE N71 hasn’t received any funding in the first round of the National Road Grant Allocations for 2016, councillors were told at a meeting this week. 

However, funding is expected for five pavement schemes along the route in the second round of allocations.

Details of the allocation by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), which was formerly the National Roads Authority, were given at a meeting of Cork County Council this week.

Councillors were told this year’s allocation was down by €7.5m from last year’s figure of €16m. However, the maintenance allocation for this year will see an increase of 3% on the 2015 figure.

An improvement realignment scheme for the section of road from Ownahincha to Newmills on the N71 is being planned in-house by the National Roads Office. Both the TII and Cork County Council have identified this stretch of the N71 as a ‘priority’.

Tom Stritch, director of services with the Council, said they hope to move on this once they get through Part 8 planning, which involves a public consultation later this year. 

This section of the N71 has been the scene of several accidents in recent years including a two-vehicle collision that claimed the life of eight-year-old Zoe Scannell in 2014.

Two major schemes outlined for 2016 include the N22 Ballyvourney/ Macroom bypass, which will go towards the cost of land acquisition. The other scheme is the N28 Ringaskiddy to Cork road, which will advance the Compulsory Land Order (CPO) and Environment Impact Assessment (EIS).

Also this week it was announced by the government that €29.6m has been allocated to Cork for road improvement and maintenance works. This funding is part of a €298m national investment programme for regional and local roads. 

Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, Noel Harrington welcomed the announcement and said the funding package would allow approximately 2,000km of regional and local roads to be maintained nationally and close to 2,000km strengthened this year.

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