N21 Newcastle West / N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme Design Update of the Preferred Option

Details of the refinement of the mainline corridor from a 400m wide corridor to a reduced corridor, approximately 200m wide for the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme were published on the 28th February 2024.

Limerick City and County Council is working in partnership with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Department of Transport to develop two separate schemes to relieve congestion on the N21 Limerick to Tralee Road through Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. These projects are called the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme. Jacobs Consulting Engineers were appointed as Technical Advisors to progress the planning and design phases for both schemes. 

In November 2021, the Preferred Options for the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme and the N21 Abbeyfeale Road Scheme were published, and an online Public Consultation followed seeking feedback from the public on the Preferred Options. 

There has been a high level of engagement from the public with this consultation. Since then, further design work, environmental and surveying activities along with ground investigations have been progressed along the entire preferred option corridors for both projects. 

This reduced corridor, approximately 200m wide, does not represent the actual width of the road scheme or the lands to be acquired - the corridor indicates the lands within which the N21 Newcastle West Road Scheme could be developed, including lands required for drainage/flooding issues, access roads and services etc. Work will also continue on the Environmental Impact Assessment as part of the planning process for this Scheme.

Each project is expected to have positive benefits on the urban environments of Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale and will improve the quality of life of commuters and local residents. The projects offer opportunities to provide safe, segregated cycling and walking facilities and to integrate with the wider active travel networks such as the Limerick Greenway. 

Under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy the National Development Plan 2021-2030 identifies the N21 Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale bypasses as national road projects to be progressed subject to further climate and environmental assessment and financial approvals. The National Planning Framework recognises the importance of large towns such as Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale in providing employment and functional roles much greater than their population scale. The Atlantic Economic Corridor (Kerry to Donegal) has the potential to act as a key enabler for the regional growth objectives of the National Planning Framework. The improvement of regional connectivity, linking together the major urban areas to allow the Atlantic Economic Corridor to achieve its potential, is a major priority. 

The N21 forms a vital Strategic Corridor Link between the South-West and Mid-West Regions of Ireland. The proposed N21 Newcastle West and N21 Abbeyfeale Road Schemes will significantly improve transport connectivity and provide more efficient access to other strategic national roads such as the N23 and N22 to the south and the M20, N18/M18, M7 and N24 to the north and east. 

This Design Update is non-statutory, but it provides an opportunity for comments and observations to be submitted. The knowledge gained from the engagement will be considered by the project team as part of the next stages of the design development of the schemes. 

The project team is keen to engage with property owners to outline the current proposals and to discuss any concerns they may have. Information can be requested, and meetings can be booked by calling the Mid West National Road Design Office, 061-951000. 

Observations/comments can be made by email to newcastlewest@midwestroads.ie or abbeyfeale@midwestroads.ie or by post addressed to Mid West National Road Design Office, Lissanalta House, Dooradoyle, Limerick, V94 H5RR. 

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