Frequently Asked Questions
The project aims to improve the section of the N4 between Mullingar and Longford (Roosky), and alleviate congestion in the settlements along the route, improve journey times and allow for safer and more reliable journeys for road users, including vulnerable users and users of road-based public transport.
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
Stage 1 considered the identified constraints, the feedback received through the first public consultation, and the relevant design standards to develop a range of feasible routes within the Study Area. These initial feasible routes were assessed under the following criteria: ‘Engineering’, ‘Environment’, and ‘Economy’. These have now been shortlisted to identify Route Corridor Options to be considered during Stage 2 (Project Appraisal Matrix).
Stage 2 of the Option Selection Phase will involve a detailed assessment of the options under the following criteria: ‘Economy’, ‘Safety’, ‘Environment’, ‘Accessibility and Social Inclusion’, ‘Integration’ and ‘Physical Activity’ in order to identity an Emerging Preferred Route Corridor.
The Emerging Preferred Route will go on display during a third period of non-statutory public consultation and the public will be invited to make submissions or comment on the Emerging Preferred Route before a Preferred Option is finalised at Stage 3.
The project team, ROD-AECOM, are progressing the project development in accordance with the TII Project Management Guidelines (PMG), and as outlined in our project consultation roadmap, please refer to the the Public Consultation Tab.
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 Route Corridor Options were subjected to a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) under the assessment criteria of:
These have now been shortlisted to identify Route Corridor Options to be considered during Stage 2 (Project Appraisal Matrix). There is also facility for the public to view the options in more detail through the interactive mapping tool in the virtual public consultation room and subsequently on the project website.
We are currently holding our second non-statutory public consultation and invite the residents of the local area, members of the public and interested parties to provide feedback on these options which will be considered by the project team throughout the Options Selection process. These options are generally shown as 300m wide corridors. These corridors do not represent the actual width of the proposed road development or the lands to be acquired – the corridors simply indicate the lands within which a road alignment could feasibly be developed.
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.
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;
- supports the EU Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) in relation to the delivery of the TEN-T comprehensive road network
- supports 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 objective 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.
The project is referenced in a number of policy documents including but not limited to Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework (2018) and Project Ireland 2040 National Development Plan (2018 – 2027) however the advancement of the project is subject to ongoing funding and statutory approvals.
The Project Office located in Lough Sheever Corporate Park in Mullingar remains closed at this time however the current public consultation format has been adapted to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.
Details and information in relation to the Route Corridor Options are being made available online through a virtual public consultation experience on our project website. Our team are still available to answer any queries through the project phone, dedicated email or by completing the contact form, click here for details. Should anyone not have access to the internet, public consultation material can be made available by post by contacting the project team.
Westmeath County Council/Longford County Council Planning Department have the responsibility for planning and managing development within the Counties. New planning applications within the study area may have an impact on the delivery of this future project. Planning applications and new developments may still be granted within the study area/route corridor options, however as some planning applications may affect the project all relevant planning applications will be reviewed by the design team. Each application will be considered on a case by case basis.
National transport planning is focused on improving transport systems through a Common Appraisal Framework based on six criteria:
- Accessibility and Social Inclusion;
- Integration; and
- Physical Activity (where applicable)
|Economy||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.|
|Safety||To reduce the frequency and severity of collisions by providing safer transport for all.|
|Environment||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.
|Integration||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.|
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.
Route Corridor Options on this project will typically be 300m in width. These corridors do not represent the actual width of the proposed road development or the lands to be acquired – the corridors simply indicate the lands within which a road alignment could feasibly be developed by the Project Team. In some instances, the route corridor may be increased at particular locations or may change, typically to accommodate engineering needs, environmental assessments or to address feedback provided through the consultation processes. The Route Corridor Options indicated are indicative, not final and are subject to change. It is a work in progress and will be modified as a result of consultation, including feedback from this public consultation, feedback from stakeholders and further investigations, including environmental, land and geotechnical surveys. As the design is refined and assessments undertaken by the various environmental specialists, this may result in changes to all or part of the proposed Route Corridor Options. The Emerging Preferred Route Corridor Option may be comprised of a combination of different options being displayed as part of this public consultation.
Given the scale of the project, it is likely that all lands required for the schemes will be acquired by a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). Should any part of a person’s private land/ property holding be included in the CPO, the land/property owner is entitled to compensation. This may also be the case for a person who may have an interest in any land/ property identified in the CPO. Compensation will be provided in accordance with CPO legislation.
It is likely that some residential property will be affected, and it is possible that a small proportion may need to be purchased to facilitate the scheme. Each property is considered a constraint and in so far as possible, the scheme will seek to avoid and/ or minimise impacts.
The status of bypassed sections of national road has not been determined at this time. Bypassed sections of national roads may remain as a national road or may be reclassified to regional or local roads following construction of new sections of the national route.
Initial traffic data collection took place in September/ October 2020. This information will be analysed and used to develop a traffic model which will inform the route selection process. Given the impacts of COVID-19 TII are currently in the progress of preparing an alternative future traffic demand scenario that will be used as part of the appraisal process for all National Road schemes. The scenario will be used as part the appraisal of the N4 once it has been prepared by TII.
The Project Team will consider inputs from members of the public, such as submissions received through the public consultation processes, or identification of local issues. This will contribute to the development of the route selection process and scheme design.