PUBLIC consultation on the options for the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme, including bypass options, will commence next Monday, 1st February 2021, following a virtual briefing to elected representatives from the region.
Limerick City and County Council is working in partnership with Kerry County Council (in the case of Abbeyfeale), Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Department of Transport to develop two separate schemes to relieve congestion on the N21 Limerick to Tralee Road through Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale.
These projects are called the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme. Jacobs Consulting Engineers have been appointed as Technical Advisors to progress the planning and design phases for both schemes.
Each project is expected to have positive benefits on the urban environments of Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale respectively and will improve the quality of life of commuters and local residents. The projects offer opportunities to provide safe, segregated cycling and walking facilities and to integrate with the wider active travel networks such as the Limerick Greenway.
The N21 forms a vital Strategic Corridor Link between the South-West and Mid-West Regions of Ireland. The proposed N21 Newcastle West and N21 Abbeyfeale Road Schemes will significantly improve transport connectivity and provide more efficient access to other strategic national roads such as the N23 and N22 to the south and the M20, N18/M18, M7 and N24 to the north and east.
Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive, Limerick City and County Council has welcomed the start of the public consultation process next Monday; “While being developed as separate projects, the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme will help to relieve congestion in the respective towns and enhance regional connectivity,” he said.
“Each of these projects will also improve road safety and provide opportunities to provide safe, segregated cycling and walking facilities in and around the towns of Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale and it’s great to get the process underway now with the start of public consultation on Monday.”
Under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy the National Development Plan 2018-2027 identifies the N21 in both Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale as sections of the national road network to be progressed through pre-appraisal and early planning.
The National Planning Framework recognises the importance of large towns such as Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in providing employment and functional roles much greater than their population scale.
The Atlantic Economic Corridor (Kerry to Donegal) has the potential to act as a key enabler for the regional growth objectives of the National Planning Framework. The improvement of regional connectivity, linking together the major urban areas to allow the Atlantic Economic Corridor to achieve its potential, is a major priority.
The projects will be developed within the identified study area surrounding each town. A number of road-based bypass options for each scheme have now been shortlisted after the completion of the first phase of an appraisal process based on engineering, environmental and economic criteria.
As part of the further analysis of options, Limerick City and County Council is seeking feedback from the public on the shortlisted options for both schemes.
Feedback from the public consultation process will be considered as part of further appraisal leading to the identification of the best performing option or combination of options which will be taken forward as the preferred option for each scheme. This, in turn, will form the basis for a further public consultation which is expected to take place in late 2021.
Due to COVID-19, Limerick City and County Council is unable to hold public consultation events in-person within the study area. Instead, an online public consultation platform has been developed on the project websites www.n21newcastlewest.ie and www.n21abbeyfeale.ie.
Each online public consultation experience provides a virtual consultation room which allows the public and other stakeholders to view and interact with the consultation information and maps and to provide feedback on the options using an online feedback form.
Notwithstanding current COVID-19 restrictions, the project team is committed to making as much information available as possible and to dealing with concerns throughout the public consultation process.
It is possible to book online or telephone consultation meetings with the project team using an online booking facility. For those who cannot access online information, a brochure outlining project details is available from the Mid West National Road Design Office and telephone consultations can be booked by calling the booking phone line 087 0573813 which will be available from Monday 1st February to Friday 12th February 2021.
Submissions can be made using the online feedback form, by email to [email protected] or[email protected] or by post addressed to Mid West National Road Design Office, Lissanalta House, Dooradoyle, Limerick V94 H5RR up until 26th February 2021.