Sherlock presses government to commit to Mallow Relief Road

Speaking in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday night, Cork East TD Seán Sherlock pressed the new Gov-ernment to commit to the Mallow Relief Road. Speaking at a midnight session on Topical Issues, Deputy Sherlock stressed the importance of the road for Mallow and the region, along with the M20, saying “What the people of Mallow need and require now is an assurance, in respect of the relief road for Mallow, from the government that this will not slip down the political agenda. And what I’m seeking from the Government is an assurance that monies will be put behind this project after the consultation process is over so that the project can be delivered. It’s an absolutely essential project in respect of giving relief for the N72 and the N73. The N73 is in a deplorable state at the moment. The town of Mallow for many years has been asking for monies to be made available for this relief road. It’s important that it dovetails into any project in respect of the M20 in a way that ensures that there’s a seamless joining of the two projects to give that relief. We appreciate the design preparation is underway but we’ve been there before. Route corridors have been assigned before and that’s why we want to remain vigilant about ensuring that the town of Mallow is not left behind in respect of any capital investment for roads infrastructure, because it’s a key reference tone in the province of Munster, and it’s a key point of connectivity between Kerry and Dublin as well.”
Responding for the Government, Minister of State attending cabinet with responsibility for International and Road Transport and Logistics Hildegarde Naughten said: “The government will be carrying out a review of the National Development Plan later this year, taking account of the priorities of government set out in the programme. The scheme is at an early stage of development and therefore it’s not possible at this time to indicate a likely timeframe for construction of the project, the timeframe for delivery of any major or minor works or projects that require statutory approval, whether for environmental impact assessments or compulsory purchase orders or both is between eight and 13 years as this project is in the early stages of planning it’s not yet possible to provide an accurate estimate of the total cost, the estimate of costs, cannot be finalised until the project reaches the business case stage of the process.”
Deputy Sherlock stressed that the Government should allocate monies to the project to protect it. “I am hopeful and optimistic that this government will recognise the relief road for Mallow as being a key project, given Mallow’s location and its centrality in the province of Munster. And it’s not just regional development, we’re talking about inward investment. If we’re talking about opening up the southwestern region and if you’re talking about a keynote project, the Mallow Relief Road fits that bill,” he said.