I thank the Minister for taking up my invitation to discuss these important road schemes along the N4. As he knows, the N4 is a major carriageway to the north-west region. It is a national primary road running from Dublin to the north west and Sligo. It goes without saying the N4 is a vital artery to this region. There are three major schemes currently planned along the route and it is imperative that we continue to upgrade this national route for a number of reasons. These upgrades will improve road safety for road users, alleviate traffic congestion and reduce journey time to allow people to plan their journeys more accurately. They will undoubtedly generate significant economic benefits for local economies along the route.
The planned Mullingar to Longford-Rooskey road scheme comprises about 50 km of dual carriageway and has been in the pipeline for some time. The preferred route corridor was announced in June 2010 and the plan is to upgrade the stretch between the N4 Dromod Rooskey bypass and the N4 Mullingar bypass. According to Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, it is in a category of pre-appraisal. The N4, Carrick-on-Shannon to Dromod, upgrade involves an 11 km stretch and according to the TII website, it is also in the category of pre-appraisal. The Minister might shed some light on what exactly this means.
Earlier this year, I was glad to note that my colleague, the Minister for Finance, Deputy Donohoe, earmarked an extra €1.26 billion for spending on roads and other transport between 2018 and 2021. As part of that, funding approval was given to the N4 Collooney to Castlebaldwin road project in Sligo, news which has been welcomed by all of us. I understand the 15 km road widening project involves an overall investment value of over €100 million and undoubtedly will improve safety on this stretch of road which has, unfortunately, seen so many fatalities in the past four decades. I thank the Ministe for helping to ensure funding for this project, which has been long awaited.
It is clear that more focus is being placed by the Government on improving infrastructure and a blueprint for this is contained in Project 2040. As the Taoiseach said during his recent visit to Sligo, Project 2040 consists of a national spatial plan that is backed up with real money. The money follows the plan and, in the next ten years, all regions and urban centres, particularly the north west, will be linked to Dublin by a high-quality road network. It is clear that the Government's Project 2040 plan is being implemented. Next year alone, I understand we will have a 25% increase in infrastructure spending. I hope my region, the north west, will get a fair share of that funding. I commend the many public representatives, local authorities, chambers of commerce and community groups that continue to campaign hard to ensure that the N4 will benefit from significant investment.