'Working group' to address noise from Athlone relief road

A Junior Minister has said the Government intends to set up a working group to examine solutions to high noise levels affecting local residents from roads such as N6 Relief Road in Athlone.

Fianna Fáil's Cllr Frankie Keena, through his party's Westmeath TD Robert Troy, sought an update from the Minister of State for Transport, Jack Chambers, on actions to address the ongoing noise issue affecting residents in a number of estates alongside the N6 in Athlone.

A response received from Minister Chambers read: "The Department of Transport will establish a working group with the Department of Housing, Local Authorities, and Transport Infrastruture Ireland (TII) to explore the establishment of a mechanism to ensure the implementation of noise action plans, and specifically large scale projects often identified as part of those noise action plans related to roads."

Speaking prior to last Friday's local elections, Cllr Keena welcomed the reply from Minister Chambers but said his concern was that action to address the current noise issue on the N6 wasn't happening fast enough.

"While I welcome the proposal to set up this joint working group to resolve the high levels of noise on our national roads, there is a need for more clarity," said the Athlone councillor.

"My concern is the timeframe as to when action on the ground will be taken to address the Athlone Relief Road noise levels.

"I honestly do feel that immediate action needs to be put in place to allow residents residing along the Athlone Relief Road to live their lives in comfort.

"It is my intention to continue to raise this until this matter is satisfactorily resolved," he concluded.