9 December 2017
By Mary Bermingham
A Fine Gael Junior Minister has expressed his disappointment with the lack of progress with carrying out upgrades to the N71 even though funding had been sanctioned some time ago, as he confirmed further funding to upgrade various stretches of the N71 this week.
Cork South West Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Health has said it really is very disappointing to see the appalling condition of the road surface in Leap Village, despite funding being confirmed for the project more than twelve months ago.
“I have been lobbying for a new road surface in Leap village since 2013 and while I was disappointed originally to be informed that funding would not be delivered for the project until 2015, I was reasonably content in the knowledge that a new surface would be put in place during 2016, it’s beggars belief that no works have been carried out to date” said Minister Daly.
This week Jim Daly confirmed that a number of locations along the N71 have been included in Cork County Council’s pavement schemes programme which has been funded by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formally NRA). He said the Leap to Dromihily pavement scheme is now due to go to tender shortly and construction is anticipated to commence in the first quarter of 2018. In addition, a road pavement improvement scheme from east of Clonakility to Lissalane is due to go to tender in early 2018, with works anticipated to commence in the second quarter of 2018.
Minister Daly said “I am very pleased that the programme also includes the Newmills to Lissavard and Parkana to Knockroe road pavement schemes, this is something myself and former Cllr Noel O’Donovan made huge efforts to progress and secured design funding from the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe during his time in that Department”.
“Transport Infrastructure Ireland has also provided funding for a pavement scheme on the N71 at Derry just west of Rosscarbery, an issue that was highlighted to me very vocally in recent months since the Pike area was upgraded. It is anticipated that the tender process will be completed by year end for this section, and works will commence shortly after.”
“Overall I want to assure people of my efforts to upgrade the existing N71 to an acceptable standard, as the reality is we are going to using this route for some years to come. The greater project of planning and developing a new N71 will progress in tandem with this, but my priority over the past five years has been upgrading the existing surface to make it safer for those who travel it day in and day out. I expect we will have a new surface on the N71 from Skibbereen through to Bandon and many sections beyond by the end of next year. We will never have enough money all at once for roads, it’s a piece meal project, but will get there in a phased work plan.