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Good news for cyclists? Tralee-Dingle road widening plan gets green light

The upgrade will see a cycleway added to each side of the scenic N86 road.

Image: Kerry County Council

A MULTI-MILLION euro upgrade of the scenic N86 road between Tralee and Dingle that was put on hold due to legal action will get underway in July, Kerry County Council has said.

The local authority published a tender notice today for the first phase of the road improvement scheme, which was approved by An Bord Pleanála in November 2014 but delayed by a legal challenge initiated by An Taisce.

The heritage body had argued that the project was not properly evaluated in line with EU environment regulations. It lost its case in October 2015.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland announced funding of €4 million for the first stage of the plan following the conclusion of High Court proceedings.

Building work on the N86 Lispole to Ballynasare Lower and Ballygarret to Camp Road, a 4km stretch of the main Tralee-Dingle route, is expected to begin in July 2016 and take around 18 months to complete.

The upgrade will see a segregated lane for cyclists added to each side of the N86 and widening of large sections of the road.

Lobby network Cyclist.ie and Dingle group Meitheal Fhorbairt Inbhuanaithe Chorca Dhuibhne have long objected to the proposed cycle track, arguing that cyclists should not be placed directly beside high-speed traffic.

553511da-a2b6-428a-bd9f-0a7fd86ba93e Source: Kerry County Council

Road safety

Michael Nolan of Transport Infrastructure Ireland said in a statement today that the project signals the way for future upgrades of other national secondary road networks.

“Not only is this scheme offering safety benefits, it also offers an attractive public amenity for all road users,” he said.

Local Fine Gael councillor Pat McCarthy also welcomed the announcement, saying the initiative will result in improved road safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Kerry County Council said the construction of the remainder of the scheme is expected to progress in a number of phases over the coming years, subject to funding.

Read: Sometimes it snows in April – and here are some photos from Kerry to prove it

Read: The Kerryman who sang Mr Brightside for his late friend spoke movingly on Ray D’Arcy

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