IRELAND’S number one commuter town is about to call a halt to rampant development until proper facilities are put in place.
The people of Carrigaline in Cork have been asked to attend a major public meeting next week to discuss concerns about its developer-led growth and the stark lack of facilities.
The town’s community association said traffic, flooding, lack of youth facilities especially for teenagers, public transport and the absence of a theatre or cinema are their main concerns.
While the county council is working on some issues, the association said land around Carrigaline should not be rezoned for new houses until these issues are resolved.
"The first thing to be decided is do we really want Carrigaline to get bigger," a spokesman said.
"This question must be answered by the people of Carrigaline, not by thedevelopers.
"If the answer to this question is yes, then we feel the needs of the people living in Carrigaline should be addressed and facilities put in place before any further house-building takes place," he continued.
In 2002, CSO census figures showed the town had the highest proportion of workers commuting to work by car every day.
At 74%, Carrigaline topped the nation’s list followed by Dunboyne (70%), Tramore (67%) and Naas (65%).
The town’s community association said the chronic traffic situation was worsening week by week.
"One of our members left work in Little Island at 5.30pm intending to go home, have tea there and attend one of our meetings at 7pm," the spokesman said.
"But she had to change her plans as it took her 75 minutes to get from Little Island to Carrigaline."
Last week, three separate local groups — the Order of Malta, the gymnastics club and the arts and culture group — all appealed for facilities. The association said it was time for residents to stand together and coordinate their efforts.
"Instead of all going after their individual requirements, it might be better if there was a joined up effort to meet the needs of all," the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a new study aimed at tackling traffic chaos in and around Carrigaline is underway.
The Carrigaline Transportation and Traffic Study will outline a plan to cope with traffic and transport for the town’s estimated 16,000 population up to 2020.
Key aspects of the study include the review of the distributor roads in the town with a view to improving links between Carrigaline and the national primary road, the N28.
It will also address the needs of pedestrians and make recommendations including better footpaths, more pedestrian crossings and traffic islands.
The study will also investigate whether there is need for a park and ride from Carrigaline to the city, cycle lanes and bicycle parking.
The meeting will take place in the town’s community hall at 8pm on Wednesday, February 28.