Land and home owners along the preferred routes of the N4 Longford to Mullingar roads project are being left in limbo due to the delays in the programme.
That's the view of Senator Micheál Carrigy who told the Seanad yesterday that if the project is not brought forward in the near future, then it risks beginning from scratch and the loss of millions of euro.
Funding of one million euro was allocated to progress the plans in March, but Senator Carrigy believes lives are still being put at risk due to the delays.
The Fine Gael Senator described the upgrade of the national road as a crucial plan for the country and one that will help access previous poorly connected regions.
Speaking in the chamber, the Longford based Senator called for the TII to prioritise the roads plan immediately:
"I'm not here in good soundings and I don't think that's acceptable. It's vital piece of infrastructure for the Midlands and North-West and it needs to be prioritised. It needs to be brought to a planning permission stage so at least then, if it is stalled for whatever reason, like a lack of funding, we don't need to go back to the start again and start spending tens of millions again. It needs to be done, it needs to be prioritised.
Responding to Senator Carrigy on behalf of the Minister for Transport, Junior Minister Anne Rabbitte stated she would convey his concerns to Eamon Ryan.
"Yes I will bring back exactly what you have said to Minister Ryan. To be fair to Minister Ryan's contribution in the opening, I think he really acknowledges what you're saying, that it is critical. It actually has so many nodes feeding into it and it is a single lane carriageway, plus the fact there is a health and safety risk along it. I do believe that you're halfway through a process and it needs to be completed and left to a particular standard. I will bring this back to Minister Ryan absolutely and thank you for raising the matter".