No cash available to rebuild busy North Kerry tourist route

Kerry County Council needs more than 2.8 million Euro to carry out badly-needed work on one of North Kerry’s busiest tourist routes. Dianne Nolan 1 The road in question – part of the R556 between Tralee and Ballyduff – has been the subject of numerous complaints from drivers, who say it’s not safe. However, the Department of Transport has not yet responded to the council’s request for funding. The R556, known locally as the Dale Road, is the main route to Ballybunion from Tralee, and carries high volumes of traffic, especially during the summer. Sections of the route have been improved over the years. However, it was originally built on a bog, and council experts say a full road reconstruction would be required to improve the quality and safety of the carriageway. Speaking at the November meeting of the Listowel Municipal District, Cllr Diane Nolan expressed concern at the section of the road at Toornanock Bridge, which she said posed a safety risk to motorists. Area Engineer Michael McEnery said a major report outlining safety concerns on this road ,had been submitted to the Department of Transport, at a cost of 2.87 million Euro. The local authority also applied for 847,000 Euro to improve the worst section of the road, but to date no funding has been allocated. Mr McEnery said Kerry County Council only had money to finance short term solutions to the problems on the Dale Road. He said work on a far larger scale would be required in the long term.