Donegal’s newest councillor has called for a significant change of status for the notorious Laghey to Pettigo road.

Cllr Micheal Naughton put down the following motion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal: “That this Municipal District seeks calls for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to upgrade the Regional Road which is the R232 Pettigo to Laghey from a Regional to a National Secondary Road.”

Cllr Naughton said that this road was a major artery used by heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), local motorists and tourists.

“Killybegs is one of the busiest fishing ports in the country,” he said. “All the lorries leaving from Killybegs use this road.

“It also serves visitors coming in from Fermanagh and Tyrone. You have a lot of people coming from that part of Northern Ireland who are going to Rossnowlagh and right through the area, down as far as Glencolmcille.

“And people living in this part of Donegal and up as far as Glenties, Ardara and Dungloe would use this road to go to Dublin or Belfast.”

The councillor pointed out that motorists often find themselves stuck behind HGVs for the entire length of the road. He said it was also a road on which there were a high number of collisions.

Cllr Barry O’Neill seconded the motion, saying he would fully support and assist Cllr Naughton on the matter.

“Donegal County Council has spent millions on this road, trying to get it up to standard," said Cllr O'Neill. "Year after year, there are hundreds of thousands of Euro spent. I am very supportive of this motion because it makes perfect sense for the TII to take responsibility for this very busy road and to invest in bringing it up to National Secondary Road standard.”


However, concerns were raised about the impact of such a move.

Cllr John Campbell said: “Changing it from a Regional to National Secondary Road would have a big impact on development. That is something we need to think a bit more about before doing anything.”

Area Roads Officer Mark Sweeney confirmed that it would greatly impact on any planning permission that involved access on to the road.

Cllr O’Neill replied: “A comparison would be the Ballyshannon to Belleek road where the same thing happened. It hasn’t done any harm there at all. The positives outweigh the negatives.”

Cllr Naughton added: “A lot of the Pettigo to Laghey road is basically bog so there would be no development on 80% to 90% of it. Given the amount of traffic, I believe it should be upgraded.”

The motion was accepted by councillors.

Mr Sweeney said he would therefore begin discussions with the TII.



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