The news this morning that a new 36km road bypassing Strokestown and Tulsk in Co Roscommon is to be built to as part of the upgrading of the N5 primary route is welcome and I also welcome the fact that Transport Infrastructure Ireland say that this new road will not impact on the archaeological sites in the area. Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which is commissioning the new alignment of the N5, said significant extra sums would be spent to protect a range of medieval, neolithic and megalithic sites , including a “royal site” at an archaeological complex at Rathcroghan, which is bisected by the current N5 route.
However I am appealing to the Government to change the tax rules in the Budget with regard to Capital Gains Tax for farmers whose lands are subject to compulsory purchase orders. Farmers who are been compelled to sell their lands should not have to be subject to this tax. I would also appeal to the NRA to be as sensitive as possible with regard to the purchase of lands for this new road in order that small farms are not split where possible. I would also appeal to the NRA not to grant planning permission for any major service station along this new road as the towns and villages along the route need the business which the passing trade provides.
I have always proposed that a top class motorway should be available from Mullingar to Castlebar and while this will not be a motorway, any improvements in the road quality to the west has to be welcomed and I look forward to the commencement of works as soon as possible as long as proper and fair procedures are followed