A property owner has offered to provide the authorities with land, free of charge, to develop an essential road into one of the country’s industrial powerhouses, now grinding to a halt due to traffic gridlock, writes Sean O’Riordan.
The Irish Examiner understands the offer has been made to Cork County Council by a local landowner in Little Island. The offer would greatly reduce the costs of building a third access road into the village and industrial hub on its eastern side, close to Cobh Cross, on the outskirts of Cork city.
Last week, at an open day, the county council and its consultants kicked off the first phase of a public consultation process on the Little Island Traffic and Transportation Study.
They are examining a number of solutions to reduce gridlock, which, at peak times, infuriates thousands of workers and leaves residents imprisoned in their own homes.
The council is seeking enhanced public transport solutions to ease gridlock, but residents and businesses are pressing for a new access road, connecting to the Cork-Midleton N25 route.
Fianna Fáil councillor Padraig O’Sullivan conveyed the landowner’s offer to the council executive. He said a third road would ease gridlock and be vital to developing the 250 already zoned acres of land on the eastern side of Little Island.
“The existing infrastructure has not kept pace with the overall development on the island and, in 30 years, the infrastructure has seen very little improvement,” said Mr O’Sullivan.
“That said, I would welcome the fact that the transportation study will also have to take heed of all potential new zonings mooted in the current LAP [local area plan] process.”
As part of public submissions to the LAP, the county council received a petition that had been signed by 3,000 people calling for the development of a third entry or exit on Little Island.
Little Island Business Association (LIBA) expects more businesses to locate there, but warns that a new entrance is necessary to maintain the area’s success. LIBA urged its members making submissions to the council, following the Little Island Traffic and Transportation Study public consultation, to reiterate this call.
This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.