A multi-million-euro plan for the revamp of a Co Cork town has been unveiled. It includes new bypass roads, enhanced streetscapes, cycling lanes, safer pedestrianised areas and and restrictions on HGV traffic.
The Bandon Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan, which has been prepared by Cork County Council and its consultants, will be launched when the town’s flood defences and new sewerage treatment project have been completed in early 2019.
Initially, work will focus on upgrading roads, footpaths and street furniture in the town centre, plus developing better traffic flow, while introducing a 30km/h speed limit and better public transport links.
Later, the focus will be on creating a new northern bypass. It’s hoped that by 2026 it will be built to connect the N71 east of the town to link to the Macroom Road.
Council engineers envisage the existing southern relief road will be extended out to Old Chapel two years later.
Peter O’Donoghue, senior executive engineer in the council’s traffic and transportation department, described the plans as “a once-in-a-generation strategy”, which outlines how Bandon will “change dramatically in the years ahead”.
“A key aspect of this is to help recover its former vitality as a major market town. We want to make it a much better place to visit and do more business in,” said Mr O’Donoghue.
The council’s plans include creating an events area at Ballymaden Place and a boulevard at Glasslyn Road. It also wants to install new bus stops, restrict HGVs from entering the centre at certain times, and to make it easier for people to walk and cycle to work.
Cllr James O’Donovan (FG), chairman of the Bandon municipal district council, said the plans represented “a huge opportunity”.
“Over the last number of years, Bandon has suffered enough from floods and this would give the people something to be proud of and celebrate,” he said.
“It will be a tough time for traders, as the streets will be dug up for months on end. It will take a lot of cooperation, as this will not happen overnight, but I would ask that we would keep the end vision in our minds,” said Mr O’Donovan.
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