Plans moving forward for new Tullamore to Kilbeggan road

PHOTO: The cover of the questionnaire being published this week.

Local authorities want to hear your views on the new N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme.

Offaly County Council is developing the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link Scheme, in conjunction with Westmeath County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), to upgrade 8km of this National Secondary Route between the Tullamore Bypass and the M6 at Junction 5 (Kilbeggan).

This public consultation – underway from June 15 to July 27 - is focused on the Study Area and the Constraints Study.

A broad project study area has been identified within which the proposed road could feasibly be located. The project team is now in the process of identifying any constraints within this area that could impact on how and where the scheme is designed. Constraints include economic, engineering and environmental issues such as communities, industry, archaeological and environmental factors, that the project team needs to be aware of before it progresses to designing a route for the Scheme.

The council has sent a project brochure, including map and questionnaire, to all households within the study area. People can also view the project online at .

People can also view the maps and information on display in a number of local shop fronts / premises that are currently open to the public (including a window display in Offaly County Council Offices), as well as on the website, because it is not currently possible to hold open days due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivering this project is a priority. The N52 currently operates above capacity, carrying over 14,000 vehicles per day, on a single carriageway with a narrow hard shoulder, as well as having many private access points and public junctions. The overall aim of the proposed new scheme is to improve connectivity within The Midlands and address existing operational and safety issues,

This project is of particular importance as it links the north-east and the south-west of Ireland, from Ardee in County Louth to Nenagh in County Tipperary and services the towns of Kells, Mullingar, Tyrrellspass, Kilbeggan, Tullamore, Birr. The new N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme will improve the quality of the road and result in better road safety for local people and commercial traffic alike,

All feedback should be returned to the project team by Monday, July 27, by either email or post to RPS, West Pier Business Campus, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. The project team can also be contacted by telephone at 01 5239274 (Monday – Friday).

The N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme has been identified in the National Development Plan (2018-2027). The scheme was proposed under the NDP to be progressed through pre-appraisal and early planning during 2018 in order to prioritise projects which are proceeding to construction in the National Development Plan.

Work began on the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan Link scheme in the mid-2000s but the process was not completed due to funding constraints. In 2019, Offaly County Council appointed consultants RPS to deliver the proposed scheme through Phase 1 (Concept and Feasibility) through to Phase 4 (Statutory Processes).