23 January 2023
By Tom Collins
Fianna Fáil Transport Spokesperson and TD for Cork East, James O’Connor can confirm that the Midleton-Youghal N25 scheme has advanced to the Department of Transport for approval.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) which has responsibility for new road construction, has confirmed to Deputy O’Connor this week (January 23rd) that they will seek what is termed “Gate Zero” approval from the Department of Transport during Quarter 1 of 2023.
According to Deputy O’Connor, “this will move the ‘Castlemartyr bypass’ project to the Department of Transport for approval following the completion of the Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) by Cork County Council. For transport projects, this is now classified as being at the end of the initial scoping stage in advance of Concept and Feasibility studies.”
In May 2022, Cork County Council procured a Technical Advisor to prepare a Strategic Assessment Report as required by the Public Spending Code. The Public Spending Code is used by the Department of Public Expenditure to access major capital expenditure projects.
Deputy O’Connor said “I will meet the new Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers TD this week to seek prioritisation for the road project and to enable the appointment of a Design Consultant. This will allow the public and potential bidders for the contract to construct the road and to see what route options are available after which a route selection process will take place.”
The scheme will then move to public consultation which is the most delicate stage of the project where objections may be raised before the project moves to the construction phase when planning has been approved.
“This matter is of huge importance to the people of East Cork and West Waterford who use the N25 on a daily basis. I am glad to see the project continues to progress following the emergency meeting that took place on 6th October, 2021 in Government Buildings with then Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath T.D. and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D.”