MACROOM AREA RECEIVES 85% OF TOTAL CORK NATIONAL ROAD ALLOCATION FOR 2016

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has this morning welcomed the 2016 allocations to Cork County Council from Transport Infrastructure Ireland. Commenting on the allocation Deputy Creed said:

“Cork North West and in particular the Macroom area is the major beneficiary from next year’s allocations. 85% of the total spend in Cork County on National Primary routes will be allocated to the Macroom area. Specifically the Macroom Baile Mhuirne bypass project and resurfacing works in Lissarda. This is major investment in the area and I am grateful to the TII and to my colleague, Minister for Transport Pascal Donohue for heeding my requests for this investment.

“There is now significant momentum behind the Macroom-Baile Mhurine bypass project and next year’s allocation moves the project ever closer to the issuing of tender documents, the award of a contract and the ultimate commencement of construction as committed to in the Capital Investment plan 2016-2021. It is important that this momentum is maintained and not derailed post General Election 2016 because of commitments of opposition party’s to other projects in the County.

“Lissarda village has long been in need of resurfacing and I am pleased that these works will finally be carried out in 2016.

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CREED CELEBRATES LANDMARK DAY FOR MACROOM-BAILE MHUIRNE BYPASS PROJECT

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has today (Tuesday) warmly welcomed the inclusion of the N22 Macroom Baile Mhuirne bypass project in the Governments five year Capital Programme. Commenting on the announcement Deputy Creed said:

“Today’s announcement marks a significant landmark in the now long history of the Macroom-Baile Mhuirne bypass project. For the past three decades the progress of this project has dominated the political agenda in the local area. Therefore it is a source of great personal satisfaction to see the project included in today’s Capital Programme.

“It is particularly pleasing that the project has reached the green light stage during a term in Government where resources have been historically tight. I would like to pay tribute to my colleague the Minister for Transport Pascal Donohue and his predecessor Leo Varadkar, both of whom I have worked with since entering Government to ensure that today would become a reality.

“I would also like to commend the former Macroom Town Council and members of Cork County Council and the public at large in the area who have kept the fire burning on this issue for many years. The progression of the N22 project will greatly enhance the quality of life for the wider population of the Macroom area as well acting as an economic driver for the area”.

CREED MAKES LAST DITCH EFFORT TO PUSH FOR MACROOM BYPASS AT FG “THINK-IN”

Fine Gael TD for Cork North West Michael Creed has used the Party’s annual “think in” in Adare in County Limerick to impress upon the Minister for Transport, the importance of including the Macroom bypass project in the forthcoming Government Capital Programme. Commenting on his discussions with Minister Donohoe, Deputy Creed said:

“The finishing touches are now being put on the Government Capital Programme for the next five years and with this in mind I took the opportunity to once again outline the case for the inclusion of the Macroom bypass project in the Programme, to my colleague, the Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe.
“I cannot think of a single issue I have campaigned more for over the past decade in politics and therefore I wasn’t going to miss this eleventh hour opportunity to again press home the matter.
“While it may not be a case of now or never for the project, in terms of its inclusion in this Capital Programme, I certainly believe it must be a case of now! Following my discussions with Minister Donohoe, I remain hopeful that the bypass is on-track”

CREED CALLS FOR DÁIL DEBATE ON FUTURE OF AER LINGUS

Cork Heathrow Routes of Strategic Importance to South West Region

Cork North West TD, Michael Creed has today called for a Dáil debate to be held regarding the future of Aer Lingus amidst speculation that the airline is the subject of a proposed takeover by IAG. Having raised the matter during the order of business in the Dáil Deputy Creed said:

“The future of Aer Lingus is of strategic national importance and should be debated at this time when speculation is rife that the airline is about to be acquired by IAG. As a 25% shareholder the Government has a say on the future direction of the airline. It is appropriate that the Oireachtas is afforded the opportunity to discuss this matter in order to tease out how best our strategic interests can be met.

“One of Aer Lingus’ key assets are its Heathrow slots. Aer Lingus carried 2.75 million passengers between Irish airports and Heathrow last year and it is estimated that slightly more than 900,000 of them were connecting to or from other flights. These figures illustrate how crucial the Heathrow slots are for Irelands’ access to the world and vice versa. Any suggestion that IAG may attempt to impede on this access for commercial gain must by resisted if at all possible. As a parliament we have a duty to discuss such matters urgently”.

Creed welcomes award of contract for Macroom Resurfacing Works

Cork North West TD Michael Creed has today welcomed the awarding of the contract for the resurfacing of Macroom town. Commenting on the signing of the contract with Priority Construction LTD, Deputy Creed said:

“I am delighted that Cork County Council have finalised plans to resurface the N22 through Macroom Town. The works scheduled to commence in early March will take approximately 7 weeks and will see the road from the Coachford cross to the Coolehane junction in Macroom resurfaced.

“The road surface through the town has been in dreadful condition with many years and has been in need of remedial repair works on an ongoing basis. I am satisfied that this overlay project will ensure that the road will hold up to future traffic and adverse weather events.

“I will be working to ensure that the resurfacing works will be completed in as quick a timeframe as possible and that disruption will be kept to a minimum”.

CREED APPEALS TO NAMA TO ASSIST IN COMPLETION OF MACROOM SCHOOLS LINK

Cork North West TD, Michael Creed has called on NAMA to fund the completion of a roadway on NAMA lands in Macroom which would provide direct access between St Colman’s Boys National School, St Joseph’s National School and St Mary’s Secondary School. Commenting on the proposal Deputy Creed said:

“There would be a significant community gain in NAMA funding this work as it would provide an alternative road linkage between the two Primary Schools and a secondary school in Macroom Town and in so doing removes the necessity for parents collecting children from these Schools having to travel along the busy N22. It would also assist with improved access to a new supermarket which has opened and Macroom Church.

“I have been in contact with NAMA directly and the receivers who are responsible for the site and I’ve stressed to them the benefits of constructing this roadway which would extend from The Orchard housing estate in Sleaveen East. I have been in contact with all relevant parties in order to further this issue as quickly as possible”.

CREED CONTINUES CAMPAIGN FOR N22 BYPASS SCHEME IN DÁIL DEBATE

Cork North West TD, Michael Creed has raised the importance of progressing the N22 bypass project with Transport Minister, Leo Varadkar TD, during a topical issues debate on the matter. Speaking during the debate Deputy Creed said:

“The realignment of the N22 is a critical piece of regional infrastructure. The work stretches from the eastern side of Macroom town, at Coolcower, to the western side of Ballyvourney to Sliabh Riabhach, and represents approximately 40 km of realignment involving five roundabouts and 20 bridges. This is a significant piece of infrastructure that will cost €200 million plus. I thank the Minister for his assistance in progressing this project to date. I thank him particularly for dealing with the CPOs that have been issued to landowners and their entitlement to a goodwill payment. As far as I am aware, all of the landowners along the route have, by and large, co-operated fully over a long number of years. As the Minister is aware, the project was delayed for a significant period in the courts, but this was beyond the control of the landowners.

“Most towns, like Macroom, have a natural hinterland which drives their economic development. Macroom is hindered by the lack of a bypass. Most of its western residents are pulled towards Killarney and most of its eastern residents are pulled towards Cork City, simply because of heavy traffic congestion in the centre of the town. A number of fatalities have occurred in the town, and in the past week an elderly citizen was knocked down because of congestion. A number of pinch points need to be addressed and will be addressed in the context of the bypass.

“We need to make up for the lost years. This project was drip-fed during the so-called boom years of the Celtic tiger during the previous Administration. We have an opportunity now to hitch our wagon to other infrastructural projects locally, particularly the Dunkettle interchange, which has a high ranking with the NRA. We need to catch up and I would like the Minister to assist us in this regard by working with the NRA and directing it to fast-track this project so that both projects can be bundled together”.

In his response Minister Varadkar said:

“The N22 project is the Ballyvourney to Macroom improvement scheme which aims to bypass Macroom town and involves the construction of 43 km of new carriageway from the end of the Ballincollig bypass to Ballyvourney. The project was the subject of a judicial review against approval of the scheme, but the legal challenge has been rejected. As a result, notices to treat have been served on affected landowners who, as Deputy Michael Creed mentioned, will be eligible for the goodwill payment as it went to An Bord Pleanála many years ago. I thank him for raising the matter with me some weeks ago. This means that once the land is bought, the project will be shovel ready. The NRA has made an allocation of €400,000 in respect of this project for 2013.

I have had some discussions with the NRA on the matter with a view to pursuing it as a public private partnership. The intention is to go ahead with the Gort to Tuam road project which is first on the list and has already gone to tender and then to deal with the New Ross and Gorey to Enniscorthy projects. As the Macroom to Ballyvourney and Dunkettle projects are the only ones with full planning permission – at that stage the land will be purchased – it is planned to pursue them either separately or as a bundle under a public private partnership scheme”