The Government decision to include the Cork/Limerick Motorway as part of their 10 year Capital Programme is indeed welcome.
The road when built will speed up traffic times, reduce accidents and open up the wider region for future investment and development.
However, because of the likely timeframe involved in completing this project, there is still in Mallow’s case an urgent need for the long awaited N72/N73 Relief Road that would address bottlenecks and serious traffic congestion in Mallow Town.
The economic and social case for this By-pass was well made in the 2015 Indecon Economic Study presented by the Mallow Representative Group (MRG) to the then Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe.
This report followed an extensive wide-ranging consultation process with all transport, business, education, farming, and community interests in the Mallow area.
The report funded by local Industry and Cork County Council concluded that a By-pass would remove heavy traffic from the town, revitalise the Town Centre, create new jobs especially in the Agri-Food sector and overall would be worth up to €90 million to the area while also being a cost effective project benefitting the state’s coffers.
In the meantime M.R.G. has written to the new Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD, and the present Minister for Transport Shane Ross, emphasising again the conclusion of the Indecon Report which points out that there is an existing strong economic and social rationale for re-activating the planning and development process and completing the Mallow N72/N73 By-pass.
What is required now is a positive decision by Transport Ireland Infrastructure (T.I.I.) to fast-track this project as part of the wider M20 Motorway.
We need to see an early end to the severe traffic congestion which has blighted Mallow Town Centre and has had a visible as well as major financial impact on business and community life in the town and wider area.