About the Project

Project Overview

Westmeath County Council is working in partnership with Longford County Council and in association with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, to develop a scheme along a section of the N4 between Mullingar and Longford (Roosky). This 52km section of the N4 is a single carriageway road that passes through or close to several settlements, including Ballinalack, Rathowen, Edgeworthstown, Longford and Newtownforbes.

Need for the Project

The N4 serves a vast geographical area and provides a strategic function in terms of connecting the West and Northwest regions of Ireland to the Midlands and the East of the country.  It provides access to peripheral areas of the country including Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo and Donegal; Cavan via the N55 and Mayo via the N5 at Longford. Many businesses in these areas depend on the N4 corridor for access to both national and international markets.

The main aims of the project are to deliver on policy and improve road safety.

Policy Context

Project Ireland 2040 is the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. The development of the project will deliver on a number of policy documents at European, National and Regional Levels.

An upgrade of this section of the N4;

  • support the EU Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in relation to the delivery of the TEN-T comprehensive road network
  • support the Strategic Outcome of the National Planning Framework in relation to Enhanced Regional Accessibility
  • is identified in the National Development Plan
  • is identified as an objectives in both the Westmeath and Longford County Development Plans


Road safety along this section of the N4 is compromised with the current cross section and presence of over 500 at-grade junctions and private accesses.

  • serves up to 17,500 vehicles per day
  • featuring over 500 junctions and direct accesses
  • 159 collisions in twelve years from 2008 to 2019
  • 17 fatalities in twelve years from 2008 to 2019

Project Objectives

National transport planning is focused on improving transport systems through a Common Appraisal Framework based on six criteria:

  • Economy;
  • Safety;
  • Environment;
  • Accessibility and Social Inclusion;
  • Integration; and
  • Physical Activity (where applicable)

In accordance with TII Project Appraisal Guidelines, objectives for the project have been established in the context of these six criteria. These objectives will be refined as the project progresses and more information becomes available. These Project Objectives are contained in the Phase 1 Project Brief which is available to download here.

Appraisal Heading



  • To support the economic performance of the local and wider North-West region through the provision of improved transport infrastructure which will reduce the cost of travel for communities, businesses, visitors and tourists and assist in reducing the overall cost of production thereby improving competitiveness.


  • To reduce the frequency and severity of collisions by providing safer transport for all.


  • To minimise where possible the environmental impact of the transport intervention.
  • To improve air quality in the various settlements along the corridor.
  • To reduce the level of noise in the various settlements along the corridor.

Accessibility & Social Inclusion

  • To improve accessibility to key facilities, such as employment, education and healthcare for all transport users, but in particular vulnerable groups.
  • To reduce travel costs in the region and thereby encourage and support investment and employment in the wider region.


  • To improve the connectivity and coherence of the national and Trans-European Transport networks.
  • To improve transport links between the Greater Dublin Area and North West of Ireland.
  • To be compatible with land use objectives as set out in regional and local land use plans.

Physical Activity

  • To provide opportunities for Non-Motorised Users as part the transport intervention.

Previous Studies

Previously a Preferred Route Corridor and Route Selection report were published in July 2010 but at that time the National Roads Authority (NRA) advised that due to funding restrictions further work on the project was to be suspended.  Due to changes in environmental legislation, design standards and in order to comply with the requirements of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Public Spending Code, it is now necessary to fully re-appraise the proposed project through the TII Project Management Process, including Concept and Feasibility, Options Selection, Design and Environmental Evaluation and the Statutory Processes. As a result, studies carried out over a decade ago must be revisited.

Study Area & Constraints

ROD-AECOM has defined a study area and are in the process of identifying artificial and natural constraints within the study area, as well as external parameters. These include local Economic, Engineering and Environmental constraints.

Work to date

The project is currently in Phase 2: Options Selection, which is a 3-stage process.

  • Stage 1 – Preliminary Options Assessment
  • Stage 2 – Project Appraisal Matrix
  • Stage 3 – Preferred Option

During our Stage 1 Preliminary Options Assessment we identified feasible Route Corridor Options within the study area while taking account of the constraints and the feedback received from the first non-statutory public consultation which was held in summer 2020.

These have now been shortlisted to identify Route Corridor Options to be considered during Stage 2 (Project Appraisal Matrix).  For more information on the Route Corridor Options please refer for the Public Consultation Tab where you can access our virtual public consultation room.

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