Thursday, November 11, 2021

Cllr Damien Ryan feels that a bypass of Ballinrobe is “crying out to be built”, as it will alleviate traffic which has been building up in the town over the past few years.

Cllr Ryan raised a motion at a Claremorris-Swinford Municipal District meeting yesterday:

“That Mayo County Council immediately make an application to TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) for funding to connect the R331 Claremorris Road to the N84 Kilmaine Road in Ballinrobe as a traffic alleviation measure given that such funding is available under specific schemes and as it forms part of the overall bypass and would essentially solve school traffic and provide an access to the M18 motorway without coming right through the town centre.”

Cllr Ryan went on to add, “connecting these two roads would certainly decrease the amount of traffic that has to go through that particular junction at Stanton’s. It would also solve a lot of the gridlock around the school in the morning and evening because there would be opportunity for cars to return to town through a number of other routes.”

He believes that this will fit under a TII minor scheme that will allow €2 million funding, so the council should push on to try and get it done.

Cllr Ryan believes this proposal has been with the National Road Design Office (NRDO) for too long and he is proposing that they formally invite a representative from the NRDO to the December meeting and explain how they are going to take this proposal forward.

Cllr Michael Burke wants to agree with the motion, but that Ballinrobe bypass was troublesome a few years ago because the costs of building it rose to €15 million.

“It was going to be a very expensive piece of infrastructure, even at that time. It’s not being mentioned anywhere at the perfectly honest and hasn’t been mentioned for a number of years. I think if we were to put in a fairly normal sized road that would take two cars on a two-lane system, that you might get in there for €5 million. But when we’re looking at this big, very ambitious project, you’re looking at €25 million now, so I don’t think it’s going to arrive here in my life time, that’s being honest.

“We should go back to drawing board on this, and see what is possible and achievable over the next 2-3 years,” Cllr Burke said.

Cllr Burke feels that they should put in a minor funding scheme with the TII to build a detour in the town that will give access from the Claremorris Road onto the Convent Road and then onto the Kilmaine Road. He feels it could be done at a reasonable cost with no objections.

Cllr Patsy O’Brien said he supports the proposal but back in the 2000s they tried bring in traffic plans in Ballinrobe but they were met with so much resistance that, “they were lucky they weren’t clobbered.” He said doing traffic management is like, “shifting chairs on the Titanic.” However, he supports both Cllr Ryan motion and Cllr Burke’s comments, because he feels something has to be done.

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