CORK city’s future transport infrastructure projects may be hamstrung by the rejection of a key traffic plan for the Wilton area, the Green Party has claimed.
The €4m Wilton Corridor Project was voted down by councillors, by a margin of 16 to eight, this week, and the Green Party believes “misinformation” led to a media narrative that focused on residents on the Wilton Road losing portions of their gardens through compulsory purchase order (CPO), rather than the benefits that realigned traffic lanes would have brought to the area.
The Green Pary and Sinn Féin both backed the project, which has been brought to a public consultation stage by City Hall officials.
Councillor Colette Finn (GP) said Cork City Council could have better communicated the benefits of the project to the public.
“This whole issue could have been avoided with better communication to residents on what the plan entailed, and how it could benefit them, but, instead, it became about the council stealing your front garden to put in more roads,” Ms Finn said.
“I think there’s a justified fear out there, now, on how this vote may affect future situations, similar to this one, and how it will affect further plans to redevelop our infrastructure, with public transport and cycling in mind.
“Some people, my fellow councillors included, raised concerns over the impact the proposed scheme would have on the quality of life for residents on that particular road, but no-one seems to have considered the impact on the wider community for these works not to go ahead.
“Getting a bus to Wilton or the CUH, from the city, has to go down that road, and, at present, it’s a joke how long it takes to get just from Dennehy’s Cross to the Wilton roundabout. We’ve heard from cyclists who use the road that it’s incredibly dangerous at peak times for them. That road is a massive choke-point for traffic, and it makes public transport a non-viable option for a lot of people who live in Wilton, Bishopstown, and beyond that commute,” Ms Finn added.
The Wilton project was to form a key part of the city’s Cork Metropolitan Area Transport 2040 Strategy, but planners will now have to revise the scheme.