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► N26 Ballina – Bohola Stage 2

Length of Project: 19 km

Carriageway Type:type 2 dual carriageway

Current Status of Project: An Bord Pleanala have refused this Scheme (February 2010).

This Project Is Funded By The Irish Government Under The National Development Plan (NDP) 2007 – 2013 And Part Financed By The European Union


The N26 National Primary Road links Ballina and North Mayo to the strategically important N5 National Primary Road. The N26 passes through the towns of Foxford and Swinford, and caters for traffic from Ballina/north Mayo/west Sligo to Dublin and the east of the country. The N58 National Secondary Road also serves the area, running between Foxford and the N5 at Ballyvary, and catering for traffic between Ballina/north Mayo/west Sligo and Castlebar/Galway and the south of the country.

The National Spatial Strategy identifies Castlebar and Ballina as “linked hubs” and states that “improvement will be needed in the quality of connections between cities and towns which are developed as linked-centre gateways or development hubs”. The National Road Needs Study (NRA) had proposed improvements of the N26 and N58.

The Mayo County Development Plan 2003 – 2009 has among its objectives:-
· “to complete improvements to the three National Primary Routes N5, N17 and N26 to their entirety”,
· “Major schemes on the N26 will include Ballina-Bohola including Foxford By-Pass”,
· “that the new road to be constructed from Ballina to Bohola shall be declared a National Primary Road – to replace the existing N26 from Ballina to Swinford”,
· (NP1) “Commence construction of the Ballina-Mount Falcon section at Carrowntreila (Stage 1)”,
· (NP5) “Complete design, commence land acquisition and construction of Mount Falcon to Bohola section including Foxford By-Pass”.

The N26 Stage 1 at Carrowntreila Scheme, extending from Ballina to Mount Falcon, was opened to traffic in December 2004. The proposed N26 Stage 2 Scheme extends from Mount Falcon to Bohola, by-passing Foxford.

The objectives of the proposed N26 scheme include the following:
· Provide a safe, high quality road for this strategic route
· Reduce traffic congestion along the National Roads N26 & N58 through Foxford
· Maintain existing roads for local traffic where possible
· Improve safety along the existing roads and at existing junctions by reducing traffic volumes and removing the majority of heavy goods vehicles
· Optimise journey times for long distance and local traffic
· Minimise environmental and social impacts on the local residents and communities along the existing roads and in surrounding areas
· Encourage development of Ballina, Foxford and County’s economies
· Reduce the negative effects of peripheral location in Europe.

Progress to Date:

Project Planning (Phase 1 to Phase 3)

The project commenced in 2000 with a Study Area being identified. Following public consultation, a Constraints Study Report was published in March 2001. Route Options were presented for public consultation in June 2001, and the Preferred Route was presented to the public in September 2001. The Route Selection Report, presenting the process of selection of the Preferred Route, was adopted by Mayo County Council at the December 2001 meeting.

Preliminary Design & Statutory Procedures (Phase 4)
This stage of the process includes the following:

Preliminary Design of Horizontal and Vertical Alignments
Preparation of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), Deposit
Mapping, Schedules and Notices
Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Publication of CPO and EIS

The Preliminary Design was carried out, and the CPO and EIS were published in October 2007. Bord Pleanala held an Oral Hearing in February 2008 and made their decision (refusal) in February 2010.


Information Brochures
Information leaflets/brochures and questionnaires are issued periodically to inform the public on the progress of the project and to assist us in assessing the public reaction to the project. Paper copies of the following brochures are available at our office: Constraints Study Brochure, Route Options Brochure; Preferred Route Brochure.

Reports are prepared at various stages of the project in accordance with the requirements of the NRA National Roads Project Management Guidelines.
The published versions are available for viewing at the Mayo National Roads Design Office (see ‘Contact Us‘ page).
Alternatively, the text of the reports may be downloaded here. Please note that some of the mapping files in Pdf format require a speed broadband connection to view.

Constraints Study Report   ( Note: broken link)

Route Selection Report  (note: broken link)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)(Note: broken link)

Other Relevant Information:

If you have an interest in other aspects of road planning or construction click here (Note:broken link)to view some of the publications contained within this website. Alternatively, you can visit the National Roads Authority Website at www.nra.ie to view their comprehensive library of publications.


During the planning and preliminary design stage (Phase 1 to Phase 4) of the project, no on-site intrusive archaeological investigations take place. This occurs during the construction stage of the project (Phase 5 to Phase 7) and generally occurs in advance of the main construction contract. However, a combination of desk-top and non-destructive field assessments of known archaeological sites occur during Phase 1 to Phase 4. If you wish to view this information,

please refer to the Constraints Study Report(Note:broken link) and the Route Selection Report where appropriate.

Contact Information:

If you have any queries or comments to make in relation to the above project, if you require further information or if you wish to make an appointment please contact the following;

Project Engineer, Pat Staunton,
Mayo National Roads Design Office,
Mayo County Council,
Glenparke House, The Mall, Castlebar,County Mayo.

Phone: (094) 906 4321. Opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Engineers Ireland Department Of Transport Mayo County Council National Roads Design