Senior county council officials in Cork are to meet with Leo Varadkar, the transport minister, to impress on him the importance of building ring roads around Mallow to ease traffic gridlock.
The proposed roads were to be built as part of a now-mothballed multimillion-euro M20 motorway between Cork and Limerick.
Tom Barry, a Mallow-based TD, said he will outline the importance of building the ring roads when he meets Mr Varadkar this week.
Mr Varadkar will hear similar appeals when he meets a Cork County Council delegation in Dublin shortly, which will be led by county manager Martin Riordan and county engineer Noel O’Keeffe.
“Due to a lack of available funding, the motorway project has been parked but Minister Varadkar has underlined his commitment to the project once the funds do become available,” Mr Barry said.
“In the meantime, Mallow needs a ring road for a number of reasons.”
He said the town was already having difficulty coping with traffic, and that the situation will get worse due to planned industrial development.
“Dairygold, the largest co-op in the country, isdeveloping a 25-acre site in the town to expand its milk processing capacity and will be spending €130m on this project,” the Fine Gael TD said.
“This is to cope with the increase in milk production which will occur post 2015 quotas being abolished. This development will see huge traffic of lorries and heavy vehicles needing access to a ring road.”
Dairygold is also developing a €3m facility for animal breeding on the outskirts of the town.
“At present, Mallow town is suffocated as all traffic, including traffic heading west for Kerry, has to come through the centre of the town,” Mr Barry said.
“This chaos is affecting business and restricting the development of what is a vibrant town.
“I will be urging the minister to look at a ring road for Mallow as a priority. I will also urge that all of the work already done and money spent on planning should be brought to the An Bord Pleanála stage, because we must retain as much value as we can,” Mr Barry added.
Cllr Tom Sheahan (FG), meanwhile, said he wanted to see the M20 project reinstated when funds became available again.
“Failing that happening in the short term, a relief road for Mallow would be considered a good alternative,” he said.
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