RESIDENTS in Wilton have called for an independent assessment of City Hall's plans to overhaul traffic operations in the area with new bus and cycle lanes.
The Chairperson of the Wilton Residents' Association John Leahy said the area already suffers traffic chaos and he fears the situation could get worse.
Plans for an overhaul of the Wilton Road aim to provide six lanes on the busy route — a bus lane and a bike lane city-bound and outbound, and a single traffic lane each way for regular vehicular traffic.
The first phase, which will focus on the stretch between the Wilton roundabout and Dennehy’s Cross, will require the use of a portion of several front gardens along the western side of the road.
The plans also include the shifting of traffic flow through the busy Dennehy’s Cross junction slightly westwards, and the installation of traffic lights at the junction of Wilton Gardens.
It is expected that upgrades to the rest of the road will be undertaken when funding is secured for the installation of traffic lights on the Wilton roundabout, near Cork University Hospital.
Mr Leahy said that plans to widen Wilton Road to provide six lanes by obtaining portions of front gardens was completely unacceptable.
“This is the first we have heard about it,” Mr Leahy said.
The residents' group are requesting an urgent meeting with the council to discuss the proposed work.
Mr Leahy said radical solutions are needed for the heavily congested area before other projects are completed, such as the Wilton Shopping Centre expansion plans and the student accommodation being developed.
He also said the recent additions of Aldi and Lidl have contributed to increased traffic on the already busy road.
“The National Transport Authority (NTA) has a lot to do with this. They are making decisions and they have absolutely no on-the-ground experience with the area.
"We have no confidence that the works they are looking to carry out will improve the area.”
However, Mr Leahy accepted that if something isn’t done the whole area will be choked in the next few years.
“It is chaos,” he said.
He urged Cork City Council and the NTA to show consideration for locals.
“We have been campaigning for years but they just don’t listen. Everything we suggest is ignored," he added.