A group of residents living along the N2 are to petition Monaghan County Council to pursue an online upgrade of the existing stretch of the N2 between Ardee and Castleblayney – rather than pursue one of the new routes that have been proposed by Jacobs Consulting Engineering and the local authority.
The N2 Ardee to Castleblayney Concerned Residents Group are to ask people to support an upgrade of the existing stretch of of 32km of the N2/A5 road that runs from Dublin to Derry. Monaghan County Council are acting as project lead, with Louth County Council also stakeholders. Transport Infrastructure Ireland are overseeing the project.
A second phase of a public consultation on the project was held in November 2019, after a first invitation for submissions and opinions from the public in July of last year. Six route corridor options, in total, are being considered which include three ‘standalone’ routes with three more small variants on each of the three routes.
The existing N2 route, with no change to the route, is among those being considered for the project.
In statement, Emma Payne speaking on behalf of the N2 Ardee to Castleblayney Concerned Residents Group said, “We commissioned engineering and environmental reports to assess the impact of all 3 route options as proposed by Jacobs engineering and Monaghan County Council.
“The conclusion of the engineering report was that the existing N2 road is a prime candidate for a 2+1 type 3 Carriageway upgrade, similar to the section between Castleblayney and Clontibbert. This route would be viable and futureproofed to TII’s projected traffic volumes up to 2050,” she said.
Monaghan County Council say that some residents’ properties may be affected by the build of new routes for the stretch of the N2. ‘It is likely that some residential property will be affected, and it is possible that a small proportion may need to be purchased to facilitate the scheme. Each property is considered a constraint and in so far as possible, the scheme will seek to avoid and / or minimise impacts,’ they say.
But the local residents group say an online upgrade of the current road would be better for all. “We also believe that residents on the current N2 could be easily accommodated as there is sufficient room on many sections of the N2 to allow for this type of upgrade. Residents could be provided with far safer access to the existing road through engineering solutions and access roads.”
They also cite the reliance on passing traffic of existing businesses on the route, saying that an online upgrade would “safeguard much needed employment and revenue in the area.”
The residents group, who will hold a public meeting on the matter in Dooleys of Edmondstown on Monday March 2 at 7.30pm, also say that any new route will mean the current N2 will be downgraded from a national road to a regional road.
The environmental report commissioned by the group expressed concerns about the negative impact of new routes on water quality, biodiversity and the increased potential for flooding.
In a document outlining more of their ken concerns, seen by LouthNow.ie, the residents cite the risk of increased flooding, the removal of around 500 acres of farming land by a new road build and the lack of Garda resources to police a new primary N2 road, as well as the downgraded road.