Monaghan County Council has been working in association with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to develop a scheme to upgrade a 28km section of the N2/A5 Dublin-Derry Road. The proposed project is in County Monaghan between Clontibret and the Northern Ireland Border. This project is called the N2 Clontibret to Border Road Scheme.
This is an important project to enhance key North/South and Regional connectivity and to improve road safety.
While some planning and design work was undertaken on this scheme between 2008 and 2012, the previous project was suspended for economic reasons. Monaghan County Council appointed Jacobs Consulting Engineers (Jacobs) in 2018 to advance the project through the planning and design process. Subject to funding, the design process was to be developed in stages, with opportunities for the public to participate in the decision-making process at each stage.
The N2 Clontibret to Border Road Scheme received no funding allocation for 2022. This has resulted in a suspension of the project. Recommencement of the project will be dependent on an allocation of funding from TII. It is not known at this time when/if this funding will be forthcoming.
The N2 Dublin to Derry route is a national primary road linking Dublin to Northern Ireland and the north west of the country, passing through the towns of Slane and Ardee, and bypassing Carrickmacross, Castleblayney and Monaghan before becoming the A5 as it passes through Northern Ireland.
In March 2007 the Chancellor of the UK Exchequer and the Taoiseach announced a major new roads programme that included the A5 Western Transport Corridor from Aughnacloy to Derry (A5 WTC). This major infrastructural project aims to upgrade over 85km of the A5 route in Northern Ireland to a dual carriageway standard. At around this time Monaghan County Council also commenced the design process to upgrade a section of the N2 between Clontibret and the Northern Ireland Border.
A preferred route corridor was previously identified for the scheme in 2012 however due to the economic downturn further progress was suspended. Funding became available under Project Ireland 2040 to progress the planning and design of the scheme. Due to changes in environmental legislation, design standards and to comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code it was be necessary to carry out a new route selection process.
To ensure the scheme complies with current standards and guidelines, Jacobs was required to undertake all stages of the planning and design process, including identifying a study area, constraints, identifying route corridor options and thereafter selecting a Preferred Route Corridor. The Preferred Route Corridor was published in 2021, along with an Options Selection Report. A map of the Preferred Route Corridor is available to download here.
The Preferred Route Corridor is typically 400m wide. The corridor does not represent the actual width of the road scheme or the lands to be acquired - the corridor indicates the lands within which the N2 road scheme could be developed. The Monaghan County Development Plan includes Policy NRP 7 which will continue ‘To protect the selected route of the N2 upgrade road scheme between Ardee and Castleblayney and the selected route between Clontibret and the border with Northern Ireland, and to prohibit development that could prejudice their future delivery’.
Once the Preferred Route Corridor was identified, work commenced on the next phase of the design process; Phase 3 – Design & Environmental Evaluation. This would have seen the road alignment designed, the landtake identified and an Environmental Impact Assessment Report prepared for the scheme, however no funding was allocated to the project in 2022, and all work on the scheme was formally suspended in May 2022.
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