A MAIN traffic route to the South Ring Road at Douglas village could remain closed for months as works continue on the fire-damaged shopping centre car park.
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 last month. Gardaí and councillors are eager for some of the four lanes to be reopened as its closure is causing traffic problems on Church Street, the R610, and at the Fingerpost roundabout.
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 there are no plans in place to reopen the road due to health and safety reasons.
“We have to keep it closed at the moment because of the dangers that are involved,” he said. “It’s a private road. There are no immediate plans to open the road. Our focus is getting everything back up and running.”
However, local Fine Gael councillor Deirdre Forde has urged Mr Love to hand ownership over to city council as soon as possible so it can be partially opened.
“I know the gardaí want to open it because it’s a main artery and the lights are out so it is unsafe for pedestrians to cross,” she said. “I asked the county council months ago to expedite it to be taken in charge. However, they didn’t do so. The city council has only just completed the boundary transition. The onus is on the city council to immediately set in train action to make sure it is taken over and that may take time.
“The council should be speaking to the developer to ask him that portions of it are open. I know they will probably have to work on the building. This could go on until next year and that road simply cannot stay closed until next year.
“It’s a main arterial route. This is causing major congestion in the back village. I was there at 8.10am on Tuesday morning and the traffic was building up, coming from all directions. It would be a great gesture to the people of Douglas if the owner expedites the transfer of the road to the city council.”