The planned new N5 route from Tibohine to Scramogue Cross should be part of an overall development of the N5, rather than the development of one section in isolation, according to Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan. ‘I commend the work of the National Roads Authority (NRA) in proceeding with the planned re-alignment of the N5 Dublin to Westport route. However the development must be seen as part of the overall development of the N5 route, rather than a section of road development in isolation. ‘Judging by the level of support for this development at a recent public meeting in Ballinagare, I believe the goodwill exists for the NRA, local landowners and rural businesses to move together in partnership, ensuring this development is completed in as short a time scale as possible. ‘I believe it is vital the NRA continue to listen to the views of local landowners, business people and entire communities affected by this new road. I believe the NRA must continue to engage with the public at each relevant stage of this development, rather than producing a plan at odds with the express wishes of local people. ‘At this point, it would be remiss of me not to applaud the leadership being given by the IFA on this issue, who organised last week’s very successful public meeting in Ballinagare. Indeed, I would strongly recommend concerned farmers to continue to consult with their farm leaders if in doubt about any issues relating to this project. ‘The development of the N5 route will, though in its infancy, be a ‘great leap forward’ for the people of this region. Traffic congestion, affecting areas such as Frenchpark, Ballinagare, Tulsk and Strokestown will be considerably reduced. Local residents will now enjoy safer and less congested access in these areas. ‘For people passing using the new route, journey times will be reduced considerably and access to regional centres such as Galway, Castlebar and Dublin will be greatly diminished. There will also be a reduction in road traffic accidents with safer roads and transportation costs, due to quicker journey times. Improved road quality will make the West of Ireland an even more attractive location to do business in. ‘However while conscious of the progress being made with this development, it would be short-sighted if the planned new route was seen as a development in isolation. I believe the development of the N5 route must be integrated and enhance the ongoing development of the N5 Charlestown by-pass and more importantly, the long awaited and badly needed by-pass of Ballaghaderreen town. ‘Without such a broad and holistic approach to the development of the N5 route, traffic problems rather than being solved or eased, will be moved onto stretches of this route, where such problems currently do not exist. ‘Therefore, if this region is to enjoy the fruits of regional development, then it must be as part of an integrated development of the N5 route, which, in turn, must be part of an integrated development of transport in this region, to include the development of the Western Rail corridor and Ireland West International Airport in Knock. ‘As a newly elected representative in Dáil Éireann, it is my duty to ensure this work is completed for the benefit of the people of this region. I will be working tirelessly to ensure these objectives are fulfilled’, Deputy Feighan concluded.