Not Such a Long Way to Tipperary - Cashel to Mitchelstown Road Scheme Opens Early!
The N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown scheme was officially opened today (Friday 25th July 2008) by Dr. Martin Mansergh, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance.
The scheme which runs between Cashel in County Tipperary and Carrigane, north of Mitchelstown in County Cork, will bypass four villages and towns- New Inn and Skehennarinky villages in county Tipperary and Kilbehenny village in county Limerick. It incorporates a bypass of Cahir town on the N24.
Officiating at the opening, Dr Martin Mansergh, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance, said:
"I am delighted to open this road to traffic which has been delivered 10 months ahead of schedule and on budget, this is particularly good to hear given the current economic climate.
This road, which runs through the heart of South Tipperary, will be a major benefit to the people and the economy of adjoining towns in terms of jobs and investment, and indeed will make the whole county more accessible.
By delivering this scheme, which includes a bypass of Cahir, ahead of time and on budget Government is achieving three important targets - removing through traffic, improving access to and from towns and villages in the area and, most importantly, improving road safety".
Mr. Peter Malone, Chairman of the National Roads Authority, said:
This 41km, dual carriageway will remove up to 9,500 vehicles daily from the four bypassed towns and villages. Travelling times and congestion will be reduced, impacting positively on both commercial and tourism sectors.
At 257km the Dublin to Cork route is the longest of the five major city links targeted for development under the Government’s Transport 21 Plan and the National Development Plan 2007 - 2013. When complete in 2010, drivers will be able to travel on motorway or dual carriageway from Dublin to Cork and the journey time will be at least an hour less than in the past.
Schemes such as the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown demonstrate that the transformation of the country’s national road network is becoming a reality, helping to address the challenges presented as a result of economic and demographic developments. The national road network is a vital element of the country’s strategic infrastructure - our island economy is heavily reliant on a top class road network to ensure the efficient movement of people and goods which are vital to protect and encourage job opportunities.”
Mr. Ned O’Connor, County Manager, South Tipperary County Council, said:
“The N8 Cashel/ Mitchelstown scheme completes a strategic section of the major inter-urban route between Dublin and Cork. From South Tipperary County Counsel’s perspective it means that the towns of Cashel and Cahir are now bypassed and this will have a positive impact on the economic and social development of the County. It is the largest single project investment undertaken by South Tipperary County Council.”
The first phase of the scheme, 12km on the N8 from Cashel to Cahir and 3km on the N24 bypassing Cahir, opened in October, 2007, 18 months ahead of schedule.
Next year will see progress continued on the N8 Cork to Dublin route with the Cullahill to Cashel scheme due for completion. The N8 Mitchelstown to Fermoy project will be completed early in 2010 and the M8 Portlaoise to Cullahill scheme will be complete by the end of 2010.
The Minister for Transport, Mr. Noel Dempsey, T.D., recently approved applications from the National Roads Authority to designate 9 sections of dual carriageway as motorway. The N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown scheme is among the schemes to be reclassified. The designation to motorway status will come into effect on 24th of September, 2008.
Funding for the scheme was provided by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, 2007-2013, with part-funding by the European Union from the Trans- European Transport Networks Budget.
For further Information Contact:
01 660 25 11
086 823 0600