O' Laoghaire to Transport Minister: Get M28 upgrade sorted for the economic good of Cork and Ireland
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has this evening challenged the Minister for Transport Shane Ross on delays in funding and delivery regarding the crucial upgrading of the N28 Cork To Ringaskiddy Motorway
The delayed project was debated as a topical issue at the request of Deputy O'Laoghaire who outlined the fact that the N28 is one of the most strategically important roads in the state, and in terms of the outlay by comparison to potential economic return, may well be the best value for money.
Speaking during the debate, Deputy O'Laoghaire said;
"Needless to say the economic case for this motorway is extremely strong, particularly in the case of the Crucial Strategic Employment area that is Ringaskiddy, in terms of the rapidly growing town of Carrigaline, and the developing strategy which Government and Council have for the Cork Harbour area.
"Cork Chamber of Commerce helpfully commissioned a report by Indecon, on the economic case for the M28, Cork to the World. The assessment indicates that the M28 upgrade could provide a catalyst for realising enhanced FDI - related benefits in the Ringaskiddy area involving an estimated 1,100 additional high - value jobs and related additional employment incomes of €97.1 million in annual terms or €1.4 billion in present value terms over a 25-year period.
"There is also the issue of what might be the potential implications, however, if it is not deliver.
"But I note the Indecon Report states that “in value terms, we estimate the potential loss in trade that would result through a failure to provide the required port capacity at €3.8 billion per annum (including liquid bulks) or just below 22.4% relative to projected 2030 trade, equivalent to a loss of d59.4 billion when measured in present value terms over a 25 year period.
"The development of the Port of Cork’s, is closely tied to the m28. Phase 3 of that development will not happen unless the m28 upgrade is delivered, which involves the additional Roll on Roll off Traffic. Nor incidentally should it, it would be an utterly unreasonable imposition on residents.
"The delivery of the m28 is vitally important to the local community residents of Ringaskiddy and Shanbally have had to suffer for far too long now with heavy freight travelling through their villages and in addition for Carrigaline, this has the potential to assist with the extremely heavy traffic.
"This is a matter of discussion once again because of a report given to Cork County Council, following a meeting between the TII and a delegation from the Council."
"In this report it was confirmed that a number of projects around Cork would not happen within five years because of a lack of funding.
"The report stated that a contractor would not be appointed for the Dunkettle interchange upgrade until 2018 and despite it being its top Cork priority, work would not begin until at least 2019 or 2020.
"Only after Dunkettle would the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney bypass and the M28 (Ringaskiddy road) begin, and that would not be until at least after 2021 because of funding budgets.
"I also note, in passing that the delivery of the M40 is absolutely essential as well, and a crucially strategic road.
"So I am here, to raise concerns about the M28, but as it hinges on the Interchange, I urge you to push this forward, and to make sure it is delivered before 2021, that will push the m28 in to the mid 2020s, and this will mean missed opportunity for Cork, and further delay for the local community
"If the government is serious about Regional Development, about significant economic development outside of Dublin, then the delivery of the m28 project is absolutely key, it needs to be expedited, Cork has now waited long enough."