By Dan Walsh
Wexford County Council has today announced that Option C has been confirmed as the scheme option that can best deliver the objectives of the N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour scheme. This critically important infrastructural project aims to significantly improve road safety, expand capacity, and shorten journeys for both private and commercial traffic in the Wexford region, particularly considering the increased importance of Rosslare Europort post-Brexit.
Scheme Option C is approximately 31km in length and utilises a mix of both the existing road corridor, which will be upgraded, and new corridor that will bypass significant constraints and deficiencies on sections of the existing corridor.
An Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Cilr Ger Carthy said; “County Wexford and Rosslare Europort are strategically located gateways between the island of Ireland and mainland Europe. This brings both opportunities and challenges, and high-quality connectivity is essential to the county’s economic competitiveness, its ability to attract inward investment and its attractiveness as a tourism destination. I welcome the announcement of this major milestone in the project’s progress, and trust that the project will continue to actively engage with local communities, local land and property owners and other project stakeholders as the scheme further develops towards the planning processes”.
Wexford County Council’s Chief Executive Tom Enright welcomed the announcement stating “The development of the N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour project is a key strategic objective of the County Development Plan and a key enabler for the further economic development of the county. The project will significantly enhance regional and international connectivity, thereby helping to both solve the some of the challenges caused by Brexit and to capitalise on opportunities to attract further investment to the region.”
Wexford County Council’s Director of Service Eamonn Hore, said; “The impacts of Brexit have significantly intensified Rosslare Europort’s strategic importance as a gateway for Irish trade and tourism. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, weekly continental ferry services at the Port have increased to 34 per week. Freight volumes with continental Europe increased by approximately 460% in the first half of 2021, and overall freight volumes, including Britain, have increased by 60%. The N11/N25 Oilgate to Rosslare Harbour project aims to secure the future resilience of this critical international land-sea corridor by delivering a safe, sustainable, high-quality and cost effective transport connection with Rosslare Europort”.
Currently, the preferred scheme option is presented as a 300m wide corridor. This does not represent the actual width of the road scheme once the design has been developed, or the extent of lands that are needed. The next phase of the project will involve a more detailed analysis of this 300m corridor to develop a specific road alignment to minimise or mitigate impacts on properties and the environment.
Scheme Option C is unchanged since the public consultation in July and August 2020. It also follows a similar route to the option previously selected in 2011, albeit factoring in several significant considerations that have emerged since then, especially regarding transport and environmental policy, guidelines and standards.
Over 28,000 residents in the municipal districts of Enniscorthy, Gorey-Kilmuckridge, Wexford and Rosslare are being issued with information on the route and anticipated next steps from today (Thursday 17th June). The public is also being invited to visit www.oilgate2rosslareharbour.ie to view all details and documentation related to the scheme.