Councillors hit out at county’s neglected roads

THE condition of some Kerry tourist routes is so poor that some local people are no longer changing their cars.

That’s according to Killarney-based Independent councillor Michael Gleeson, who said many such roads were in a deplorable state.

“We can’t get it through to the Government and to the National Roads Authority (NRA) that we are no longer in the ghost train era. People ask me why I haven’t changed my 1997 car, but why would I?” he stated.

He also told an area council meeting in Killarney that the dreadful condition of the Muckross Road, the road to Mangerton mountain, and the main Ring of Kerry road through Fossa, which was subject to flooding, did not reflect the tens of millions of euro the Killarney area sent to the Exchequer each year.

Flooding in Fossa village near the school was, he added, due to a vastly inadequate storm water system which needed to be replaced.

Engineers said the National Roads Authority did not fund storm water systems and the council received only €30,000 a year for drainage.

Meanwhile the main artery into Killarney, the Tralee road, had been neglected for many years, new Fine Gael councillor John Sheahan said.

Cllr Gleeson said there was no co-operation between the various bodies, between the Department of Health, who advocated more exercise, the Department of Transport and the NRA and so on, who should provide the funding for the footpaths.

People had to jump into their cars and drive some miles in order to be able to go for a walk, he remarked.

Engineers said work on the Muckross Road, the N71 national secondary route, had been on hold pending completion of the broadband project.

In the meantime, Kerry County Council engineers have confirmed that work on a new, 26km road between Killarney and Farranfore was not expected to commence before 2010.

Fine Fáil Councillor Tom Doherty had called for the starting date to be brought forward, saying there were long traffic delays on all routes through Killarney town.

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