Green Party partners have called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to end delays to road projects in rural Ireland.
Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor said there are 10 "key road projects" currently being delayed by the Department of Transport.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was given €146 million to fund these new road developments – but they have been told the money can only be spent on planning and design rather than construction.
These projects include upgrades of the N4 in Westmeath, the N11 in Dublin, the N17 in Mayo and the N22 in Kerry.
“Unfortunately, two of the projects were in my own constituency,” Mr O’Connor said. “One of them is a relief road in Mallow, Co Cork, and the other is a dual carriageway scheme.”
Mr O’Connor said many of the delayed projects are necessary for a rural environment.
“I understand there is the argument out there that funding road projects increases emissions - but relief road projects do the opposite,” he said.
“They have been improved towns kind of activity by taking traffic out of the main streets of the town, allowing for things like active travel when it comes to increased cycling infrastructure.”
Respect for rural Ireland
The Fianna Fáil Transport Spokesperson said he understands Mr Ryan’s position as Green Party leader – but rural Ireland requires improved infrastructure.
“What I don't think [Mr Ryan] is doing is respecting rural constituents who are a long way away from having a DART, having Luas services and Dublin Bus services,” he said.
“A lot of rural Ireland is very poorly served by public transport, and they do need good road connectivity.”
In 2023, TII was given €491 million for 34 major national road projects across the country.