Councillors heard yesterday that a fatal crash on Fota Rd, the sole route in and out of Cobh, recently caused considerable disruption and virtually cut off Great Island.
Gardaí were forced to shut down a section of the main road close to the Fota Island Hotel & Spa after a young woman died in a two-car collision.
According to Cllr Sean O’Connor (Ind), the road was closed off from 9pm until the following mid-morning as gardaí conducted an investigation.
He said he wanted to sympathise with the young woman’s family but also felt the need to highlight the situation because of the disruption caused.
While the car ferry from Glenbrook to Carrigaloe extended its operating hours to assist during the accident, many people were not aware of the service.
Mr O’Connor said shops were unable to get deliveries the following morning.
Cllr John Mulvihill (Lab) said: “If there’s an emergency, there’s only one bridge leading off the island. If there’s bad fog the ferry won’t operate. We can’t get more industry because the road network isn’t suitable.”
Mr Mulvihill said the county council drew up plans for a road into the island years ago but it was gathering dust in the department. “I want the council to take this seriously,” he said.
County engineer Noel O’Keeffe said he would raise the issue of an emergency route through Fota Wildlife Park, Fota House, and the local hotel and golf club with their various owners.
Submissions have been made to the Department of the Environment for a road which would cost in excess of €30m.
Meanwhile, Mr O’Keeffe appealed for users of the main Cork-Ringaskiddy road to attend a public exhibition today that will examine ways to make travel on the route more sustainable.
As money will not become available for some time to upgrade the N28, he said it was vital to find ways to avoid gridlock.
The exhibition will be held at the Maritime College, Ringaskiddy from 3pm to 8pm today.
People unable to attend can fill out an online form available from today until Jun 22 at www.corkcoco.ie