Traffic survey in the Moy Valley Region

A major traffic survey in Mayo has found that traffic levels on the N26 between Foxford and Ballina are higher than those on the N5 travelling between Castlebar and Swinford.

Moy Valley Resources engaged transport planning consultants, Transport Insights, to conduct a survey of the main road network around the Moy Valley region, to help determine where the largest traffic volumes exist.

Transport Insights sourced data from a number of permanent Transport Infrastructure Ireland counters on the national road network and an Automatic Traffic Counter placed on the N26 between Swinford and Foxford to provide traffic data in more detail as no permanent counter is in place here.

Purpose of survey

“Moy Valley Resources recognises the importance of good quality and well-connected transport infrastructure, such as the strategic primary road network, in supporting the economic and social development of the region” said Annette Maughan, CEO of Moy Valley Resources.

The purpose of the traffic survey in Mayo was to consider the traffic characteristics of the primary road network in the Moy Valley region, and to provide a strategic level evidence base showing the importance of the primary road network, especially the N26, to the economic and social development of the region.

Results of survey

The survey showed that 9,427 vehicles used the Foxford to Ballina stretch of the N26 daily, of which 500 are HGVs, while the N59 between Ballina and Sligo carried only 4,384 vehicles with 197 HGVs.

4,747 vehicles travelled on the N26 between Swinford and Foxford but showed a significantly higher HGV load at 14.6%, some of which may be attributed to the realignment work at Cloongullane. The N26, stretching from the N5 at Swinford, is widely regarded as the main route into Ballina and the Moy Valley region for tourists and commercial traffic.

Current policy commitments

Transport Insights also examined local, regional and national policy and point out that there was no commitment in the Mayo County Development Plan nor in the National Development Plan to finance road infrastructure improvements along the N26 between Ballina and Foxford. They note:

“The potential economic, social and tourist connections facilitated by the primary road network (i.e. the N26 and N58) for the Moy Valley region are recognised by regional and local policy. Nevertheless, potential infrastructure enhancement schemes are at early stages of identification/ development and capital funding to progress the schemes is likely a long-term aim.

The provision of additional capital funding in the short to medium term, for the continued maintenance of existing infrastructure along with identifying and implementing future road capacity improvements on the network, would greatly benefit the region by supporting an improved, safer and more resilient road network in the Moy Valley region”.

Ms Maughan said: “We believe it is vital that the existing network is maintained to the highest standards and that future improvements to the network are planned and delivered in the coming years.” She added that “the recent €16m investment in the Cloongullane bridge must also be maximised”.

The final report based on this traffic survey in Mayo may be consulted here.

AADT = Annual Average Daily Traffic
ATC = Automatic Traffic Counter

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