WILTON residents have vowed to chain themselves to diggers to prevent a proposal to seize gardens for bus and cycle lanes.
Angry homeowners held a protest at Dennehy's Cross during commuter rush hour today to vent their frustration at the Wilton Corridor Project - a plan to widen the Wilton Road to six lanes, including inbound and outbound bus and cycle lanes.
Some residents are set to lose several metres from their front gardens to facilitate the extra road space.
A crucial vote on the Part 8 planning for the project will take place in City Hall on Monday night.
John Bowman from the Wilton Community Action Group (WCAG) said people are willing to do whatever it takes to stop the project.
“Local grannies are willing to chain themselves to diggers," he said.
He described the plan as “a total waste of money" which has been rejected by locals.
Mr Bowman said: “What they are attempting to do on Wilton Road defies all best practice. There has been no cost-benefit analysis and no benefit-cost ratio, two intrinsic parts of the Government expenditure code and it is indicative of what is going to be done across the city.”
“If they are genuinely talking about trying to grow Cork sustainably, well then leave Wilton Road alone and come up with solutions to traffic volumes," he added.
Mr Bowman said the main message from the protest was to ask the council to consult the residents.
“Talk to us, show us the benefits and treat us as adults. Don’t ask for blind trust."
He said the plan was being shoved down their throats from Dublin where a computer model has decided the traffic should be sent through an elaborate route of back streets.
“It is City Hall sanctioned rat runs,” Mr Bowman said.
City Hall has said projects of this type are crucial to delivering sustainable transport infrastructure for current and future travel needs.
The first phase of works covers Dennehy’s Cross to Wilton Gardens and will require the compulsory purchase of land from 20 homeowners in the area.
The Council has said previously that it is willing to meet with residents to discuss concerns.