Calls to reroute planned motorway in Cork

Road planners have been urged to reroute a proposed motorway away from an urban area after residents expressed fears about health problems which could be caused by increased noise and air pollution.

A group that claims to represent 10,000 people living on the southside of Cork City met with Transport Minister Shane Ross to outline their fears about the development of the Cork-Ringaskiddy motorway (M28).

They presented Mr Ross with information gathered from over 500 submissions made by individuals and resident associations to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

These focused on noise and noxious gas issues to road safety concerns and better route options.

The M28 steering group consists of 45 representatives of local resident associations who in turn represent people from the Maryborough Hill, Rochestown, Mount Oval, Carr’s Hill, and general Douglas areas.

Spokeswoman Frances Murphy said locals were supportive of motorways and progress but claimed the plans for the M28 would have dramatic negative consequences.

“The substantial shortcoming is the absence of consideration to significantly better routes in line with TII’s own aspiration for an orbital route of Cork, which would bring enormous benefits for the Cork economy as a whole,” said Ms Murphy.

One suggestion is to run a road from the Bandon road interchange down to Ringaskiddy, which would cut across country and not through major residential areas.

Independent county councillor Marcia D’Alton said the design of the Cork- Ringaskiddy motorway was “fundamentally flawed”.

She said an increased volume of diesel-powered trucks coming to and from the planned cargo terminal extension in Ringaskiddy would have a significant health impact on residents in the Douglas area.

Around 25,000 vehicles daily pass through the area on the current N28, but it’s envisaged that will rise by 40% by 2025.

Senator Jerry Buttimer has weighed in on the side of the M28 steering group.

“The M28 group has gathered significant public opinion in favour of an alternative, better route,” he said.

“The steering committee has a very close working relationship with residents and the meeting with Minister Ross was very encouraging, as the minister listened to the presentation in great depth.”

Mr Buttimer said TII should examine the alternative route as it would not run through resid- ential areas.

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