Cork's Northern Ring Road was on the agenda at Cork City Council's meeting last night, as it has been for the last 15 years.
With increased traffic congestion on the Northside, councillors are urging the government to step in to provide some much-needed relief for the city, which is already beset with congestion problems.
Cllr Thomas Gould put forward a motion that the Council seek an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach to request funding to immediately commence planning and construction of the Northern Ring Road, connecting the Dunkettle Interchange, Glanmire, the northside of Cork City, Blarney, Tower and Ballincollig.
The Sinn Féin Councillor said that there were serious traffic issues on the Northside of Cork, with articulated lorries and trucks driving through residential areas.
"Over the last couple of years, we've had a number of incidents on the South Link Road which has brought the city to a standstill, because of the incompletion of the ring road around the city."
"The whole Northern Ring Road is not even included in the Capital Plan to be done now."
"Anyone from the Northside, but particularly from the North West, you'll see articulated 45-foot trucks driving through residential areas, every day, constantly, because we only have access to the North West of the city [from these areas]."
"There's no link road, no infrastructure in place, you have to go up through… Popham's Hill, Parklands, Sunday's Well. The amount of times we have issues with drivers, whether it's articulated trucks or buses, being caught on Blarney Street or on Sunday's Well Avenue. They can't get through."
The Sinn Féin Councillor is calling for the council to engage with the national government in order to get the Northern Ring Road built.
"I think we need to have an urgent meeting with the Taoiseach to express how vitally important the Northern Ring Road is to Cork as a whole, not just to the Northside."
Cllr Derry Canty from Ballincollig said that he fully supported Cllr Gould's motion. "Any evening from four o'clock, there is a backup the whole way down as far as Wellington Bridge, right over the straight road, across by the Angler's Rest… it's just mayhem," he told the Council.
The Fine Gael councillor said that the time to act is now. "The point is for a number of years, this has been on the agenda, and every time it is… nearing fruition… it slips off the map again."
"I remember years ago, an outline design was put in place… but like that again, there was no political support for it at the time [from the national government]."
"Something major has to be done… I support the proposal that someone from the government will come here and meet us councillors from all across [the city]."
"The whole lot of us [should] sit around the table and emphasise the need for this infrastructure."
"[It would] make Cork a better place, because the city will die a death with the amount of traffic, and people will just stay away from it."