Councillor Gerry Murray.

Hard shoulder resurfacing needed on busy N17 in east Mayo

THE hard shoulder on the N17 at Charlestown needs to be extended towards the town.

Councillor Gerry Murray has asked Mayo County Council to seek funding from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) or under Smart Travel to resurface the hard shoulder on the N17 from the junction at the LT-13041-0 to the first roundabout at Charlestown.

However, the municipal district's senior engineer feels funding won't be forthcoming for the project.

In a written reply to the councillor's notice of motion, Conrad Harley explained: "Following discussion with Paul Dolan, head of roads, the construction of a hard shoulder on the N17 at this location would entail significant funding from TII.

"There is a route selection process currently underway for the upgrade of this section of the N17 (the Knock to Collooney N17 upgrade). The preferred route is due to be published shortly.

"This section of road is outside of the urban speed limit and it is not best practice to encourage walking/cycling along a busy national primary road. There is no accident history at this section of N17, the location is not included in the TII HD/15 road safety programme.

"There is no obvious pedestrian demand in respect of sport facilities or schools.

"Having considered the above factors it is unlikely that funding will be available in the foreseeable future."

Councillor Murray clarified he was not seeking this as a Smarter Travel project along a national primary route. He had included that as a possible source of funding.

Over the years, he said, various sections of hard shoulder were rolled out from the airport down, but at this particular stretch of the hard shoulder it was all grass and other growth.

There was an expectation that it would continue to as far as the first roundabout on the N17, but that never happened.

Councillor Murray pointed out that the location is on a bend and in the event of a breakdown, there is no where for motorists to pull in.

He was 'baffled' as to why this section was never done when it was done all the way up to the airport and the ground is there. All it needs is surface dressing.

Councillor Murray asked that Mayo County Council would make a case to TII for funding.