History of Roads in Ireland - 20th Century Onwards - Road Improvements: 2000-2015

Road Improvements: 2000-2015

The 2000-2006 National Development Plan (NDP) set new objectives for the development and improvement of Ireland's national road network. Several routes (the Major Inter-Urban routes) were selected for upgrading to motorway or high-quality dual carriageway standard. This objective has since been modified and these routes will be motorway standard on completion. The development plan set out to achieve the following national road improvements:

development of five major inter-urban routes (Dublin to the border, Dublin to Galway, Dublin to Cork, Dublin to Limerick, Dublin to Waterford) to motorway/high-quality dual carriageway standard; a programme of major improvements on other national primary routes; completion of the M50 motorway and the Dublin Port Tunnel; improvement of national secondary routes of particular importance to economic development

Some of these objectives have been achieved while others are still progressing as of 2009. The M50 has been completed since 2005 but it is now being upgraded, the Dublin Port Tunnel opened to all traffic on 28 January 2007, one major inter-urban route (the M1/N1 from Dublin to the border north of Dundalk) was completed in 2007 and good progress is being made on the other major inter-urban routes which are due for completion by the end of 2010. Major improvements have been made to other national primary routes, notably the N11 (Dublin-Wexford) and N18/N19 (Limerick-Shannon-Galway) routes.

The latest development plan for national routes is incorporated into Transport 21 which sets out development objectives, including the completion of the Atlantic Corridor (the Cork to Derry corridor, plus the Cork to Waterford route), to be achieved by 2015. Funding for national roads under the current National Development Plan (2007–2013) is €13.3 billion. As of 31 December 2007, there was a total of 5,427.58 km of national roads: 2,743.606 km of national primary routes (including motorways) and 2,683.974 km of national secondary routes. The total length of the national road network varies annually for different reasons:

  • The opening of a new section of road that is classified as a national road thereby replacing the old route
  • Re-alignments to existing National Roads
  • Changes to the classification of roads.
  • Analysis and updating of data contained in the Roads Database

The progress of national road construction projects can be tracked in the Road Scheme Activity section of the NRA's website, individual project websites and in the Infrastructure and Commuting & Transport sections of boards.ie, an Irish internet forum, which often contains more up-to-date information than official websites.

In addition to national roads, Ireland also has an extensive network of other public roads: there are 11,630 kilometres of regional roads and 78,972 kilometres of local roads. These roads have been allocated €4.3 billion over the lifetime of the current National Development Plan (2007–2013).

Read more about this topic:  History Of Roads In Ireland, 20th Century Onwards

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