Councillor Neil Cruise

  • €23 million euro has been announced in funding nationally under Community Involvement Grant Programme for regional and local road projects.

    Applications were sought from local authorities for suitable schemes for inclusion and the response from local authorities was very positive, according to the Minister Shane Ross, with a large number of proposals received.

    The average community contribution proposed is about 19%. The community input can be either by way of a financial contribution or works.

    321,000 euro has been secured under the scheme for four projects in the village of Knockmore.

    Local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News the funding is very welcome and includes the extension of the footpath in the village.

  • Mayo county council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland are at present testing different road barriers on the Castlebar road outside Foxford (the N58).

    In the Umoon area about 2 km outside the town there are significant drops either side of a newly resurfaced road and many road users have expressed their concerns over the lack of any barriers that might prevent a vehicle dropping a couple of meters should it come off the road in ice or frost.

    Local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today about the present testing of barriers to ensure that the safest option is installed along this very busy stretch of main road linking Ballina to Castlebar.

     He said he expects the barriers to be in place before next winter.

  • With extensive works underway by Irish Water in Foxford in the construction of a new sewerage scheme for the area, local Fine Gael cllr Neill Cruise says there is some confusion locally over what bridge in the town will be closed to traffic.

    Cllr Cruise told Midwest News that it is not the main bridge in the town that that links Foxford to Ballina and Pontoon, or the N26 to the N5, that’s closed to traffic, but rather it’s Moybridge, close to the garda station in town that is closed to traffic for the next number of weeks, and diversions are in place.

    A public information meeting on the new sewerage scheme in the town takes place this afternoon in the Foxford Woollen Mills. Irish Water is hosting the event.

  • Foxford-based FG Councillor Neil Cruise is calling on Mayo County Council to immediately publish the Part 8 planning required to get the Velo Rail project underway in Kiltimagh.

    The project, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, will involve the self-propelling of carriages on a 12 km section of the old railway track running from Kiltimagh towards both Claremorris and Swinford.

    It's estimated the Velo Rail could attract over 30,000 visitors each year to the area.

    Councillor Cruise says the project will be a major tourism attraction, and he's urging Mayo County Council to proceed with the publication of the Part 8 planning required for change of use of the track.

    This will then go for public consultation before coming back before Councillors - first at  Municipal District level, and will then go before a full meeting of the local authority.



  • The area around Ireland West Airport Knock will have its long awaited SDZ status in place by next month (October).

    SDZ is a special development zone that has been created on a huge area of land around the airport to encourage development and to attract new enterprise and jobs to the region.

    It is the only SDZ zone in rural Ireland, and has been created in conjunction with the airport.

    Effectively it speeds up the planning process for investors, as any developer interested in developing an enterprise in the zone only needs to look to Mayo county council for planning permission, and that decision cannot go before An Bord Pleanala.

    Yesterday Mayo county councillors gave the green light for the draft development plan of the extensive area of land, and that means after a protracted process the new status becomes effective in four weeks time.

    Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today that it is an historic development for Knock Airport.

  • A pensioner in this region, sends himself a letter every Friday when he comes into the post office to collect his pension, so that at least he will see the postman once a week. That’s the level of isolation and loneliness being experienced by people livening in parts of rural Ireland, according to Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise.

    The councillor was among a number of councillors who at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District condemned what they termed the “kite flying” that the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross engaged in earlier this week, proposing a new system of incremental speed limit penalties for motorists, in view of the already harsh drink driving laws now in operation that are leaving many elderly feeling trapped in their own homes.

    The councillors accused the Minister of being out of touch with rural communities .

     On Tuessday, the Transport Minister presented a proposed new system for fining motorists caught speeding, to his cabinet colleagues. The new system would see motorists charged a higher amount and given higher penalty points, the more they're caught driving over the speed limit.

    At the outset of yesterday’s debate all cllrs said they appreciate that speed can kill and that drink driving is not acceptable and condemned both - but at the same time, they do not believe that punitive penalties and fines is the only answer – as they argued they hit rural communities more.

    Cllr Cruise outlined to Midwest News his increasing concern for many elderly people living in areas without access to any public transport.

  • The speed limit along the N58 Foxford to Ballyvary road is to be reduced to 80km per hour, down from 100 km, and reduced further to 60 km per hour through the village of Straide.

    It follows extensive lobbying by local Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise, who says the people living along this very busy stretch of road, that links Ballina to Castlebar, are living in fear of traffic speeds along the route.

    The councillor insists the changes are not designed as a revenue collector for the state, but rather arefor health and safety reasons.

    Speed limit reductions are also to be reduced on the N26 Foxford to Swinford road, the main Dublin road from Ballina.

    Councillor Cruise told Midwest News that these are all necessary changes  and the new limits will be enforced.

     They have been approved by both Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Mayo county council.


  • Traffic disruption can be expected in Foxford Town from tomorrow, 29th April, as extensive rehabilitation works will get underway on the Moy View bridge in the town.

    Local Councillor Neil Cruise says the works are expected to take about three months, and traffic will be diverted away from the bridge during this time.

  • Overlay works will start this morning on the N26 Ballina road out of Foxford, which will cause significant delays to traffic, according to Foxford-based Councillor Neil Cruise.

    Crews will begin work this morning on the stretch of road from the bridge on the Ballina road to O'Hara's Bakery, and works will be carried out during the day until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

    After that, the works will continue at night.

    Councillor Neil Cruise says a Stop / Go system will be in place for traffic throughout the duration of the road works.

    He says people will need to leave extra time to get to work in the mornings as a result of the works.....