A CONTROVERSIAL upgrade to Shannonpark Roundabout has been backed by County Hall’s engineering team as a worthwhile project that has made the area safer.
Director of services for roads and transport, Padraig Barrett, presented a comprehensive report on the roundabout works at a meeting in County Hall yesterday, explaining why the plans were changed from what was originally agreed.
He said the changes were designed to slow drivers and, while not popular, have been beneficial.
Mr Barrett also said the new works had increased the safety of the area for cyclists.
The €500,000 upgrade was labelled a farce, with motorists complaining they were baffled by the new layout and fearful for their safety.
The junction has been the subject of a four-month “enhancement project” to ease congestion for motorists going to Ringaskiddy, Carrigaline, and the city. The redesign was described as “dangerous”, with new lanes running into each other, and confusing road markings. There were calls for it to be re-examined on safety grounds.
The works were meant to have a separate slip road for Ringaskiddy traffic, but this was scrapped without consultation.
Mr Barrett said new design standards meant the slip road was no longer a possibility and this was replaced with an additional lane added to the southbound approach to the roundabout.
Cllr Seamus McGrath said there was frustration around that a key element of the proposed plan was removed, saying: “It was a significant element to the proposal.”
Mr Barrett outlined that the works taken were short-term measures that aimed to improve things at the roundabout in advance of the M28 Cork to Ringaskiddy project which is undergoing a judicial review.
The engineer said that stage one and stage two road safety audits have been carried out at the junction and they were happy with the results.
A third audit will also be carried out which involves the RSA team walking, driving and cycling the scheme by day and by night to identify potential risks.