Cork residents to discuss road network plans

Residents living near one of Cork's busiest roads are to meet later this week to discuss plans to radically revamp the road network in their area.

Cork residents to discuss road network plans

Residents living near one of Cork's busiest roads are to meet later this week to discuss plans to radically revamp the road network in their area.

A public transport-focused redevelopment of the Wilton Road in the west of the city would see the creation of a six-lane carriageway, including a bus lane, a bike lane and a single traffic lane city-bound and outbound.

Residents are concerned that the plans will require the use of a portion of land from front gardens. Fears have been expressed about the impact this could have on noise for residents in the area, with up to four metres of land in front gardens potentially required in some cases.

They are also worried about public safety impacts, with cars facing the challenge of entering a busy six-lane road network if the plans proceed as outlined.

The first phase of works will focus on the stretch between the Wilton roundabout and Dennehy's Cross. The car park in front of the Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit is also expected to be affected.

The plans include the shifting of traffic which flows through Dennehy's Cross slightly westwards and the installation of traffic lights at the junction of Wilton Gardens.

It is expected that upgrades to the rest of the road will be undertaken later when funding is secured for the installation of traffic lights on the Wilton roundabout, near Cork University Hospital.

The use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) has been discussed but Cork City Council has insisted that it will try to seek any additionally required land through agreement.

A spokesperson said that the project is at "preliminary design stage and will in due course be subject to public consultation under the Part 8 planning process".

Residents in the area are due to meet on Thursday to discuss the plan.

They are understood to be frustrated about the lack of communication surrounding the project.

John Leahy, a spokesperson for the Wilton Residents' Association, said:

Without the full details, we think the current attitude is one of disbelief at such an ill-thought out and daft scheme.

The gardens "currently protect and buffer" residents from the full impact of the busy road carriage, which carries nine million vehicles per annum.

Mr Leahy said removing the gardens could potentially see increased noise for residents, as well as removing "essential parking and physical safety".

He also expressed concern about the potential increased volume of traffic in the area associated with the planned redevelopment of Wilton Shopping Centre and noted that expanding the road network may attract additional traffic to the area.

Residents have previously voiced frustrations about the volume of traffic on the roads in the area.

The Wilton Road has been identified by Cork City Council as a crucial link in one of the city's most important transport corridors.

It is understood that the forthcoming Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study, which will set out a long-term strategy for transport in Cork, will put substantial focus on increasing bus and bike lanes citywide.

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