21 September 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Cork East Fine Gael TD David Stanton has asked the Taoiseach to revisit delayed plans to upgrade the section of the N25 national road between Carrigtwohill and Midleton and encourage a restart of the long-proposed project.
The existing stretch of the N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton is of a noticeable lesser standard to that of the rest of the Cork-Midleton route. Despite this, it remains one of the busiest national roads in Munster with long traffic tail backs onto the dual carriageway often experienced at peak commute times. Serious safety concerns also exist with regard to crossing medians and historical local access onto the road.
In addition to the road safety issues, the IDA owned former Amgen site at Ballyadam outside of Carrigtwohill would benefit enormously from any upgrade of the N25. Proposed improvements in road infrastructure to include a flyover would make this site accessible and ultimately more attractive to investment.
Furthermore, the proposed development of some 2,500 housing units at nearby Water Rock will also place the road infrastructure under significant pressure. €5.5 million has been made available under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) towards the improvement of local road infrastructure as part of the development but without an upgrade of the N25 route it is hard to see how the increased traffic will be accommodated.
An international firm of consulting engineers, SWECO, was previously appointed by Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to progress a proposed upgrade of the N25 between Carrigtwohill and Midleton through to the design and associated environmental assessment stages. However, the project was stalled in 2021.
Raising the matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil chamber, David Stanton said: “Taoiseach you would probably have passed the old Amgen site on your recent visit to Midleton. 54 hectares of highly serviced land sitting there for the last 12 years. It cannot be used because the road outside needs a major upgrade which was planned but has been stalled. Thousands of houses are also planned for the area and the road is quite dangerous. Taoiseach can you revisit this issue please and see if this upgrade of the project can be restarted?”.
Acknowledging the value of the Amgen site, the Taoiseach stressed his belief that it would secure an important project in the future which could become a catalyst for the acceleration of other local associated projects. Although funding constraints remain an issue, the Taoiseach said that he did not disagree with Deputy Stanton’s calls for the N25 to be upgraded.