Lack of signage ‘hurting’ tourism in West Cork

National road planners have made tourist haven, West Cork, a no-go for motorists on a Cork City orbital route.

Direction signs do not exist for top tourist spots such as Clonakilty, Bantry, and Baltimore, on Cork’s N40.

The national primary road forms an orbital route around the south side of the city, linking the N22, at Ballincollig, to the N25, at the Dunkettle Interchange.

Senior county council officials are to meet with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to discuss a number of issues, including its refusal to put up signs indicating West Cork.

The council officials will be meeting TII officials this Thursday, on foot of a number of complaints from public representatives that TII was refusing to engage with them.

Cllr Declan Hurley, a member of the council’s Tranport SPC (Special Purposes Committee) and who will be attending the meeting, said he would ensure that concerns over West Cork directional signs were on the agenda. He made the comment at a meeting of the West Cork municipal district, in Bantry, last Friday, where a number of councillors expressed their anger over TII’s refusal to erect signs, on gantries near the Jack Lynch Tunnel, directing people to the coastal region.

Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan said there were no signs directing tourists to Clonakilty, but there were signs for Tralee. “I think we’re really missing out on the benefit of tourism revenue, because of this. In France, towns appear on motorway signs, which highlight images, as well, about what’s significant in them, such as chateaux, castles, and others,” Cllr O’Sullivan said.

“As you head along the main road to Waterford, there’s a similar type of sign depicting Youghal and its clock tower. People have told me feedback from tourists proves the information signs work.”

Cllr Mary Hegarty said, even in West Cork, they were “overrun with signs directing people to Kerry”.

“We’ve got to get real about the branding of West Cork tourism, especially as the council is investing a huge amount of money in tourism,” she said.

Cllr Hurley agreed and said he would ensure this was passed onto TII bosses.

Cllr Declan Hurley
Cllr Declan Hurley

“It definitely needs to be sorted out,” he added.

Cllr Danny Collins also backed the move, but was critical of the state of some of the existing signs in the region.

He said there was a sign on the outskirts of Bantry indicating an accident blackspot area and the sign was so dirty nobody could identify it.

“A lot of our signs are filthy and people can’t read them,” Cllr Collins said.

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) agreed with him and added that in many cases road signs were also obscured by vegetation, which needed cutting back. Council officials said they would consider a cleaning programme to address the issue.


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