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 College Road looking towards Gillabbey Street. There are calls to create a one-way system for the area in order to ease traffic gridlock that could interfere with emergency services’ access. Picture: Dan Linehan
College Road looking towards Gillabbey Street. There are calls to create a one-way system for the area in order to ease traffic gridlock that could interfere with emergency services’ access. Picture: Dan Linehan
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Call to make College Road a one-way system to prevent congestion

CALLS have been made to make College Road and its surrounding areas one-way systems to deal with traffic congestion.

Councillor Mary Shields has said a one-way system needs to be implemented between Highfield Avenue and Highfield West and has described current road conditions and layout in the area as “hazardous”. She has also expressed concerns about emergency vehicles accessing the area.

College Road runs from the intersection at Magazine Road to Gillabbey Street and is a highly residential area and provides the main access route for vehicles to UCC, as well as the entrance Bon Secours Hospital.

Ms Shields said: “The traffic congestion on both these roads is extremely hazardous and measures need to be taken to deal with this problem, especially for health and safety reasons as emergency vehicles find it difficult to access the area quickly.”

Ms Shields has asked Council officials to devise an overall traffic management plan and have one-way systems installed for the entire area of Glasheen Road, Magazine Road and College Road.

City Hall director of roads and transportation Gerry O’Beirne said one-way systems are usually not recommended by the Council because they encourage speeding and extra traffic.

“Highfield Avenue and Highfield West are minor, narrow and relatively lightly trafficked two-way roads where traffic from one approach has to give way to traffic coming from the opposite direction namely due to the on-street parking that is in situ.

“The consideration of a one-way traffic flow system in this area would need to be subject to a traffic modelling exercise. This is necessary to establish the benefits of this change for the streets and also to identify the consequential impact and necessary traffic flow changes on adjoining streets.

“It should be noted however that in relation to one-way systems, generally, the recommendation is that one-way systems are avoided…”

Mr O’Beirne argued that a one-way system will attract additional traffic and traffic speeds are likely to increase. He also voiced concerns that local residents would be negatively affected as some trips would require longer distances while the area could become a “less friendly” environment for pedestrians because of increased speeds.

However, he added that traffic arrangements for the area can be reviewed by the Council’s transport division.

“The current arrangement operates as a form of traffic calming where traffic is deterred from using the roadway as a rat run or through route. The introduction of one-way routing could dis-improve the operation of these roads.

“The traffic arrangements for the area around Highfield Avenue and Highfield West including Glasheen Road, Magazine Road and College Road can also be further reviewed by the transportation division in 2019 subject to resources being available.

“Any proposed change to the traffic arrangement in this area would have to be undertaken in accordance with the relevant rods or planning development acts,” he added.