A united approach between local authorities in Cork and Kerry is being planned to lobby for a new road to improve connections between the counties.
Proposals for many years, for a bypass of Macroom and Ballyvourney, remain on the long finger.
County councillors on Macroom’s municipal district body have been contacted by councillors in Kerry to work together to get the proposed project back on track.
Concerns were raised again after Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) chiefs said they did not envisage any funding for the project until at least 2022.
Cllr Bob Ryan, chairman of the Macroom committee, yesterday told a full meeting of Cork Co Council colleagues he had been contacted by the chairman of Kerry County Council, Cllr Mike O’Shea, to organise a united front approach.
Cllr Gobnait Moynihan said she had been “very disgusted” by the report where TII officials said they did not have the money to fund a newly-improved N22 main road between Cork and Kerry.
“It’s very disappointing to see it’s not a priority. It’s pushing it out post-2021. That word ‘post’ upsets me very much because it’s so vague,” she said.
“We should seek a delegation to the minister (for transport Shane Ross) and let him know how important this project is to us,” she added.
Cllr Ryan said funding for the new N22 had become a major issue. He said the current lack of it was “absolutely and totally unacceptable. The lack of this road is a major impediment to economic development in the region. The current road is now a health and safety risk. We cannot have it long-fingered any more,” Cllr Ryan said.
“Post-2021 could actually be post 2031,” said Cllr Des O’Grady. “I propose we send a delegation from both counties.”
However, councillors Michael Creed and Ted Lucey said they believed the money for the project would be forthcoming and quicker than others think.
“There’s a lot of (negative) spin being put on this. It’s my understanding that money will be allocated for this,” Cllr Creed said.
Cllr Lucey said: “There has been a lot of negative press going on about this. I’m confident that work is going on behind the scenes.”
Acting county manager Declan Daly said a telephone conversation had already taken place between council chief executive Tim Lucey and his counterpart in Kerry about the issue.
“We are very supportive of this road and it’s a priority in our eyes. We can work together but have to be mindful of the other projects we have in Cork which require our support as well,” he added.
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