A major new traffic and transportation study is to be conducted in one of the country’s busiest commuter towns in a bid to end gridlock.
County Hall officials have agreed to undertake the study after being told by councillors that Carrigaline, Co Cork, is choking because of the daily volumes of traffic entering and exiting the town.
A meeting of the county council’s Ballincollig/ Carrigaline municipal district yesterday heard Fine Gael councillor John A Collins say a similar study carried out in 2007 had not been pursued and was now probably out of date. He said recent flooding and frost conditions had exacerbated congestion.
“The main street there was built 260 years ago and hasn’t widened since, while the western relief road is now at capacity. We now have another school being planned and more housing being completed,” he said.
A likely interim solution, he said, was to add another lane to the relief road, especially heading northbound, while parking issues had to be addressed.
“We should really bite the bullet now because Carrigaline’s choking. We need to put something in place to make Carrigaline a better place to get through, to live and work in, and to do business in,” he added.
Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath agreed there were “huge problems” in the town and that creating an inner relief road had to go ahead. It was understood, he said, that land had been acquired but the project “was languishing” because of lack of funding.
Sinn Féin councillor Donnchadh Ó Laoighaire said only 7% to 8% of Carrigaline people travel to work in transport other than a car. He described it as “unbelieveable and traffic will only get worse unless a serious resolution is found to that”.
Independent councillor Joe Harris said it was “self evident that it’s a massive bottleneck and very frustrating for people”.
Officials said the study carried out in 2007 was based on 2005 statistics and there was merit in undertaking another.
Fianna Fáil councillor Daithí Ó Donnabháin said there were also similar congestion problems in Ballincollig. “They are the two largest towns in the county. Traffic is a key issue in Ballincollig. We’re earmarked for additional housing as well, which can’t go ahead until the traffic situation is addressed,” he said.
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