The Minister for Transport has responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the management and improvement of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
The N22 Macroom to Ballincollig improvement scheme was suspended in the period 2006-2009 due to funding constraints and it remains suspended. It has not been identified as a project for progression under the revised National Development Plan to 2030. Given the competing demands on funding, it is unlikely that TII will be in a position to progress this project in the near future. However, TII have informed me that they recently approved funding to Cork County Council for a surfacing contract on the N22 at Coolcour, east of Macroom. A contractor has been appointed by the local authority and I understand that works will be completed this year.
In addition, there are a number of major new road projects under construction in the Cork area which should help reduce traffic congestion, as follows.
N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom
The N22 Ballyvourney to Macroom project consists of the construction of a 22km dual carriageway from Ballyvourney to Macroom, comprising a bypass of Macroom Town and the villages of Ballyvourney and Ballymakeera, at an estimated cost of €280 million. Works are approximately midway through construction with the dual carriageway expected to open by 2024.
By reducing traffic volumes on the existing N22 by approximately 12,000 vehicles per day, this project will improve journey times and allow for safer and more reliable road journeys. With traffic redirected to the new bypass, existing roads may be developed to facilitate better cycling and walking routes in the town of Macroom.
M8/N40/N25 Dunkettle Interchange Upgrade
The Dunkettle Interchange is undergoing a major upgrade to a free-flowing junction at an estimated cost of €216 million. This will include a new interchange for local traffic movements. This upgrade will facilitate economic growth and result in improved journey times for road users and quality of life benefits for residents of Cork. It is expected the new interchange will be in operation by the end of 2024.