A six year community campaign to get the R312 road, the road that links Erris to Castlebar upgraded, has yielded little more than undelivered political promises. That’s according to the R312 Road Action Group Chairman Brendan Lavelle.
The road was given number one priority for upgrade by Mayo County Council some years ago but to date remains in a poor condition.
A number of public meetings have been organised by the R312 Road Action Committee over the past number of years, and while local TDs, Senators and councillors attend and follow on with either written or verbal promises to deliver - the committee claims, for the most part, it has not happened.
Midwest News has been on the road, meeting local business people and community activists in the area and talking to them about the problem.
The 37 km stretch of road that joins Castlebar to Bellacorrick is described as narrow, with an uneven surface, crumbling edges, and incessant bends. It’s prone to flooding and includes troublesome bridges.
The digging up of the surface of the N5 between Turlough and Ballyvary over recent weeks, has particularly riled the R312 road committee members, as it’s their view that the road in the county with the best surface is being unnecessarily dug up and adding to landfill, while they are left to travel on a winding road with a dangerously uneven surface in places.
They also say while they do not grudge Westport and Castlebar for securing funding for a new 241 million euro dual carriageway between both towns, they argue that a fraction of that budget would do so much for the route that joins Erris to the county town.
They say they, like everyone else in the county pay rates and road tax – but are forced to travel ON what they describe as a completely inadequate main road.
Midwest News has been talking to the Chairman of the R312 ROAD Committee Brendan Lavelle, committee member business man Derek McNulty, Erris based business man the President of Belmullet Chamber Damien Langan, and local man Tony Lynn.