Bottlenecks at Tuam, Claregalway, Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan and Gort are now a thing of the past
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has said that the 54km M17/18 Gort to Tuam Motorway which he jointly launched today will be welcomed by local residents and motorists alike and will help to create jobs in the western region.
Minister Ring said: “With the opening of this fine stretch of road we now have a seamless motorway from Tuam to Limerick via Galway, Ennis and Shannon. I am a firm believer that that good infrastructure helps create jobs and the completion of this section of the motorway will help attract Irish and international companies to this region.
“Locals and motorists who regularly used the old road will breathe a sigh of relief to see this motorway come to fruition. It will consign to the past the infamous bottlenecks at Tuam, Claregalway, Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan and Gort thereby cutting journey times, reducing the traffic in these towns and in doing so make them safer and more pleasant places to live. The motorway will greatly reduce travel times from Sligo and east Mayo down to Galway and Limerick.
“This is a significant step forward in helping to realise the Atlantic Economic Corridor which my own Department is helping to drive. The next logical step is for this motorway to be extended to Claremorris and I will be extremely keen to see this happen.
“Improved rural connectivity is a pillar of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and this is exactly what the M17/18 will deliver. Connectivity is essential in the development of our rural communities – the provision of a high quality, inter-connected system of transport in rural Ireland is key to realising the social and economic potential which exists in rural areas. Through improving our rural infrastructure and transport links we can maximise the potential of our rural communities.
“We want to make rural Ireland an even better place to live, work and raise families by creating new opportunities, improving connectivity and access between rural and urban areas, and by protecting and enhancing services in the community. I commend the Department of Transport and the other agencies involved in finishing this important project. The €59 million Ballaghaderreen bypass and the €550 million Tuam-Gort motorway are just two important transport infrastructure projects that that have been delivered to the west of Ireland under this and the last Government, both of which I have been a part of.
“This Government is building a Republic of Opportunity by working to ensure that all parts of Ireland share prosperity and economic growth whether it is through new roads, broadband, better third level institutions and more job opportunities. The creation of the new Department of Rural and Community Development which I have been asked to lead brings rural and community development even higher up on the Government’s agenda and underscores this Government’s commitment to rural Ireland.”