Calls for privately-owned road in Douglas to be taken over by Council and reopened to alleviate traffic problems

Calls for privately-owned road in Douglas to be taken over by Council and reopened to alleviate traffic problems

The Douglas Village Shopping Centre car park which is currently undergoing partial demolition. The road beside the car park was never taken in charge by the council.

CITY Hall is still not aware of the reasons why a now-closed road running between Douglas Village Shopping centre and the South Ring Road was not taken in charge from a developer following its completion.

Files containing details of negotiations between the shopping centre developer and the area’s former local authority Cork County Council have yet to be transferred from County Hall.

The road, which has become a widely used route linking Douglas east and west, and connecting the village to the South Ring Road, faces the entrance to the Douglas Village shopping centre’s overground car park and is under the ownership of its developer, Clayton Love.

It has been closed since the centre’s car park was damaged in a massive fire in September. Gardaí and councillors are eager for some of the four lanes to be reopened as its closure is causing traffic issues.

The wider area came under the remit of Cork City Council following May’s boundary extension, but the new local authority has no power to force the developer to reopen the road immediately. Mr Love told The Echo in November that there are no plans in place to reopen the road due to health and safety reasons. The shopping centre multi-storey car park is currently undergoing partial demolition to determine the extent of damage to the structure.

Councillor Seán Martin has called for the road to be taken in charge as soon as works are completed. He told the council executive this week that it is causing obstruction to traffic.

City council chief executive Ann Doherty responded that she does not yet have the required information to determine the next course of action.

“There had been ongoing negotiations between Cork County Council and the road developer which had not been continued prior to handover.

“There was a long, long process between the two so we need to get all the files from Cork County Council and move it forward. The priority at the moment is to get the shopping centre sorted,” Ms Doherty added.

Director of operations at the local authority Valerie O’Sullivan said: “The road next to Douglas Shopping centre between the shopping centre and N40 is not taken in charge by Cork City Council and was not taken in charge by the County Council previously. The owners of the shopping centre are responsible for its upkeep.”

However, Labour representative Peter Horgan has offered alternative uses for the road.

"If one was to stand at the two junctions that was formally operating as a road, you would be forgiven for thinking that traffic is actually flowing smoother than it was when it was open

"Rather than a hasty call to reopen what was a bottleneck of traffic at peak times a traffic study should be carried out on the area as it is currently operating. 

"When the centre is safe again structurally I would very much like to see a portion of that road open for pedestrian and bike use but we should not be so hasty to reopen what was, anecdotally, a major pinch point in traffic. Take the money to purchase such a road and upgrade the Douglas Relief Road which is perpetually falling into itself and a dangerous hazard for all road users including cars and bikes."

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