• Construction is expected to start next Summer on the long-awaited new  bridge at Cloongullane on the N26 near Foxford, as Transport Infrastructure Ireland is allocating €2.5 million for the new bridge and road realignment project.

    It's part of the €56 million funding package for national roads in Mayo next year, as announced this morning by Minister Michael Ring.

    The upgrading of the N26 between Swinford and Ballina at Cloongullane Bridge has been delayed for years by planning issues relating to the River Moy SAC, but Senator Michelle Mulherin says these planning issues have been overcome, and the new bridge project is now shovel-ready.

    With this allocation of €2.5 million from TII, she expects the project to go to tender early in the New Year, while €50,000 has also been allocated for a project appraisal of the new Ballina Orbital Route, to ease traffic congestion in the town.

    Senator Mulherin has been giving Midwest News an update on both road projects.

  • Funding of over €56 million is being allocated for national roads in Co Mayo for 2020.

    This includes an allocation of €40 million for the new N5 Westport to Turlough road.

    Transport Infrastructure Ireland's budget for 2020 allocated €55.3 million for improvement of roads in Mayo and a further €1.3 million for road maintenance.

    It also includes an allocation of €2.5 million for the long-awaited new Cloongullane Bridge on the N26 near Foxford, and €100,000 for the Charlestown bypass.

    The Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring told Midwest News about the national roads allocation in Mayo for next year.

  • An Bord Pleanala has again pushed back the date for a decision on planning permission for a new bridge at Cloongullane, near Swinford.

    The decision is not just disappointing but outrageous, according to Mayo FG Senator Michelle Mulherin.

    It's almost two years since an oral hearing took place into plans for a replacement bridge at Cloongullane - an accident blackspot on the N26 - yet no progress has since been made on the matter.

    The planning application is still with An Bord Pleanala, and it was expected a decision might be made by the end of last month, but that date is now being further delayed, and  there's no indication when a decision will be made.

    Senator Mulherin says it's not good enough that environmental concerns are holding up such a vital piece of infrastructure, when there are no objections from the National Parks & Wildlife or the fisheries.

  • Councillors in the Ballina area have again expressed their concerns that there are no improvements being currently planned for the N26 Ballina to Foxford road.

    At the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District this week Fine Gael Councillor John O’Hara proposed that TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) come down to Ballina to meet with the business community and local representatives to see the state of the road themselves at first hand.

    However, Councillor O’Hara’s proposal didn’t get unanimous support.

    Independent Councillor Mark Duffy says before he was born there was plans for a proper road in to Ballina and this still hasn’t moved forward.

    A delegation from Mayo County Council along with the two SPC members will be meeting with TII in Dublin on November 18th.

    Cllr. Duffy says that while the new ring road from Castlebar to Westport is welcomed news it is now time for North Mayo to get proper infrastructure in place.

  • A local Councillor says he is confident there will be progress on Cloongullane Bridge on the N26 in the short rather than the long term.

    Fine Gael Cllr Jarlath Munnelly was speaking following today’s meeting of Ballina Municipal District, where other councillors outlined details of a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Ireland on Monday last.

    Cllr Annie-May Reape, who was one of the councillors who attended that meeting told Midwest News earlier that despite the delegation highlighting the importance of a number of projects, including work at Cloongullane Bridge on the N26 between Swinford and Foxford, they are not included in the National Framework Plan, so they could be 5 of possibly more years down the line.

    However Cllr Munnelly says there is a planning application in front of An Bord Pleanala for realignment work on a stretch of the road at Cloongullane Bridge and there should be a decision on that in the next month.

    He says that if there is a positive outcome from that application, he is expecting it will be funded in some way next year.

  • A Fine Gael Cllr. has again sought clarification into what’s happening on the N26 Ballina to Swinford road as well as the orbital route around Ballina.

    Cllr. John O’Hara says he received positive news that there will be a presentation early in the New Year at Ballina Municipal District meeting.

    Cllr. O’Hara says this is badly needed as there has been serious traffic disruption in the town over the last number of weeks.

    He says progress will also be made in the third quarter of next year in preparing a route connecting Ballina with the N5 at Bohola.

  • A four car collision has occurred this morning on the N26 Foxford to Ballina road.

    The collision occurred three miles the Ballina side of Foxford and efforts are now underway to clear the scene.

    It’s understood no one has been injured but material damage has been caused to vehicles.

    Gardai are urging motorists to take an alternative route for the next half an hour to avoid significant delays.

    Traffic travelling in both directions are urged to divert via Pontoon.

    Gardai say they hope have the scene cleared inside the next half an hour.

  • Councillors in Ballina are concerned with the lack of plans to improve the N26 road.


    Fine Gael Councillor John O Hara has extended an invitation to the Transport authority to see the state of the road first hand.


    A delegation from Mayo County Council and two SPC members will meet with Transport Infrastructure Ireland in Dublin on the 18th of November.


    One of the SPC members Cllr. Seamus Weir says TII will not come down to Ballina to see ‘a Mickey Mouse project’.


    Cllr. Weir says unless the N26 gets substantial capital funding the road will remain in its current state.

  • A Mayo Fianna Fail TD has criticised the lack of progress of upgrading the N26 Ballina to Foxford road.

    Dara Calleary says his Government done a section of the road back in 2010 and says it needs to be made a priority in the wake of 2 road crashes on the stretch this week alone.

    Deputy Calleary has raised his concerns with Midwest Radio News.

  • The N26 Road between Foxford and Swinford has reopened to traffic this afternoon after a truck jack-knifed there earlier. The lorry jack-knifed in very icy conditions earlier. 

  • The need for Councillors to all sing from the same hymn sheet, to ensure that the N26 road out of Ballina and the proposed new orbital route around the town are both prioritised by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) was highlighted by Fine Gael Councillor John O’Hara at the monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District.

    Councillor O’Hara claimed that the N26 road from Mount Falcon to Foxford urgently requires significant upgrading in light of recent collisions and he says if traffic flow around the town of Ballina is not improved then the town will lose out on local business.

    At a recent meeting between the TII and members of Mayo County Council Roads SPC, Councillors were informed that it could be at least a decade before the long promised N26 route, from Mount Falcon to Swinford reaches the government’s capital programme.

    Cllr O’Hara insists that it’s up to Ballina Councillors working in unison to put pressure on the government and the TII to re-prioritise roads in and around Ballina.

  • New 80km per hour signage will be erected by next month on the N58 Foxford to Ballyvary road and along the N26 at Cloonguillane bridge, despite the ongoing controversy about the reduction in the speed limit proposed by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) along these busy routes.

    That was confirmed this week by the CEO of Mayo County Council Peter Hynes at the monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    Councillors again raised their opposition to a request by Ballina Chamber of Commerce and some businesses in Ballina to go back to the TII and ask it not to go ahead with the reduced speed limits, arguing that the reduction will hit commercial activity in Ballina.

    Foxford based Fine Gael Councillor Neil Cruise had expressed his astonishment recently when it was revealed by council management that the contract for the new signage was not yet signed by TII, yet it imposed the new speed limits on the 3rd of last month (September).

    Speaking to Midwest News Councillor Cruise said he is delighted that progress on the signing of the contract is now being made and he said the reduced speed limits will enhance road safety for residents along the busy route that connects Ballina to Castlebar.

  • It has been confirmed today that no challenge has been lodged to the planning permission for the new bridge at Cloongullane on the N26 between Foxford and Swinford.

    Planning permission was granted on December 21st for a new bridge at that location but there is a two month cooling off period to allow for any challenges to be lodged to the decision.

    That date has now passed and it has been confirmed that no challenged was lodged to the project.

    Local Fine Gael Cllr Neil Cruise says this is very welcome news and he is very hopeful that machinery will be onsite to construct the new bridge by mid 2020.

    He told Midwest News this evening this is a positive step on the road to improving the road network in the area.

  • No progress is likely to be made over the next number of years on either the N26 or the proposed Ballina Orbital Route.

    That's according to Ballina Fianna Fail Councillor Annie May Reape who was one of a delegation of Mayo Councillors who met with Transport Infrastucture Ireland on Monday in relation to a number of road projects across the county.

    The realignment of the N26 from Mount Falcon to Foxford, and the need for an orbital route around the town of Ballina were highlighted, but Councillor Reape says neither road project is included in the National Framework Plan, so it could five, or possibly ten years, before they progress.

    Councillor Reape says the N5 is now the priority road for Mayo, and there's no good news for motorists in the Ballina area.


  • The ongoing traffic congestion on the Foxford side of Ballina looks likely to be relieved with initial plans now in place to provide a link road from the N26 on the Foxford side of the town to the N59 Crossmolina road. That’s according to Ballina Fianna Fail councillor Annie Mae Reape

    The councillor says there was some welcome news for road users in the Ballina area, when members of Mayo County Council met with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) earlier this week.

    Funding for the the first phase of the construction is set to be in place by early 2020.

    While construction of the new stretch of road and new bridge at Cloongullane on the N26 between Foxford and Swinford – should get under in 2020, just a few months away.

  • The ongoing traffic delays on the Foxford road entrance to Ballina were discussed at a meeting of Mayo County Council's Special Policy Committee on Roads yesterday evening.

    Roadworks are continuing on a 1.2 km section of the N26 Foxford Road into Ballina, which are causing significant traffic delays, particularly at peak times in the mornings and evenings.

    The work is scheduled to continue until 8th December.

    Yesterday, Mayo TD Dara Calleary called for the contractors to work 7 days per week on the scheme to get it finished as quickly as possible, but this appeared to be ruled out by Mayo County Council.

    However, Ballina Fianna Fail Councillor Annie May Reape says councillors at the SPC meeting yesterday evening were told by Mayo County Council's Head of Roads Paul Dolan that a 2-way system will be in operation at weekends once the work moves closer to Ballina town, and traffic lights will be put in place to help alleviate traffic delays.

  • Overlay works will start this morning on the N26 Ballina road out of Foxford, which will cause significant delays to traffic, according to Foxford-based Councillor Neil Cruise.

    Crews will begin work this morning on the stretch of road from the bridge on the Ballina road to O'Hara's Bakery, and works will be carried out during the day until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

    After that, the works will continue at night.

    Councillor Neil Cruise says a Stop / Go system will be in place for traffic throughout the duration of the road works.

    He says people will need to leave extra time to get to work in the mornings as a result of the works.....