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Fears Grow Over Delays in Upgrading Hazardous N2 Ardee-Castleblayney Road

Fears Grow Over Delays in Upgrading Hazardous N2 Ardee-Castleblayney Road

Armstrong and Treacy Shine with a commendable sixth overall.

Concerns are mounting that one of County Louth and Monaghan’s most dangerous stretches of road may take years to upgrade due to inadequate funding. Government authorities have been criticized for “completely underfunding” the region, especially the N2 Ardee to Castleblayney road, which has seen 17 fatalities over the past decade.

Since 2018, Louth and Monaghan county councils have been collaborating with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to enhance this perilous route. However, progress has stalled due to funding shortfalls, with no state-backed financial allocation provided for 2024.

In response to a parliamentary question by Cavan-Monaghan Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan declined to specify when the project might resume. “While it was not possible to provide an allocation for the N2 Ardee to South of Castleblayney bypass road scheme, it remains part of the NDP (National Development Plan 2021-2030), and as with all NDP projects, it will be considered for funding in future years,” he stated.

This response drew a sharp reaction from Monaghan’s newly elected Cathaoirleach, Cllr Cathy Bennett. The Sinn Féin councillor stressed the urgent need for state intervention to upgrade the hazardous road.

“Our roads have been underfunded for a long period of time, and we are still receiving the same allocation as nearly ten years ago,” she asserted. “We have been continuously asking the Government for more resources, specifically for the N2 because it is such a dangerous road. The Government needs to step up and actually fund it. The current funding is insufficient, and we need proper roads in.” “It is a very dangerous road and dangerous stretch of road that is completely underfunded by government.”

The Phase 3 road design process began in February 2021 and was expected to be completed in 2023. However, due to a lack of funding, design work was suspended in 2023.

Monaghan County Council requested funding for 2024, but no allocation has been received, and the design work remains on hold.

Recognizing that projects like this can take many years to navigate the approval and delivery process, a separate allocation of €100,000 has been provided by TII for a minor safety scheme to address existing safety issues and local safety interventions. TII has affirmed its commitment to the delivery of the major project as outlined in the National Development Plan, and Monaghan County Council will continue to seek funding to advance the major road scheme.

The project team extends sincere gratitude to landowners and stakeholders for their cooperation over the past years.

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