Councillors have claimed works on two major projects in a Co Cork town have turned into “a shambles,” leading to 40-minute traffic jams, residents being kept awake at night by drilling and some already hard-pressed businesses losing 40% of their trade.
Standing orders were suspended at a municipal district council meeting at the request of Cllr Sean O'Donovan who said something urgently needed to be done to address the growing chaos in Bandon.
The town is currently undergoing two multi-million euro projects to upgrade its sewerage treatment plant and its sewer pipes and storm drains.
Mr O'Donovan said he'd received numerous complaints in recent days from householders and traders.
He claimed delays of 40 minutes are becoming the norm and motorists can't get from one side of the town to the other across the main bridge.
He also claimed some residents are complaining they aren't notified of night-time drilling and are kept awake as a result.
“I was talking to one businessman whose trade was down 40% in a week because people won't come into the town. They are hard-pressed as it is without this,” Mr O'Donovan said.
The traffic plan is not performing. The whole thing is a shambles.
Cllr Gillian Coughlan said more “forewarning signs” are needed on the outskirts of the town to notify motorists passing through the area of delays.
Cllr Alan Coleman went further and maintained the only way to solve the issue is to get gardaí out to direct traffic.
“People are sick to the back teeth of this in Bandon at this stage,” he said.
“It's impacting on the quality of life in the town,” Ms Coughlan added.
Cllr Marie O'Sullivan said if nothing is done the situation will only get worse because more tourists will be passing through the town in the weeks ahead as they go to holiday in West Cork.
Bandon/Kinsale Municipal District Council chairman Cllr Kevin Murphy said they should write to the contractors and seek an urgent meeting with them.
Senior executive officer MacDara O'Hici said the contractors aren't working for the council but Irish Water and they should write instead to the most senior officials at the utility and point out the issues.
He added, however, that people had to recognise when such significant projects were ongoing “there was going to be some discomfort.”
Both projects were stopped between late March and late May because of the Covid-19 lockdown and as a result completion dates aren't yet known.