Waterloo junction could be open by Christmas

Waterloo junction could be open by Christmas

Locals protesting the closure of the Waterloo junction on the Mallow Road, Co Cork.

IMPLEMENTATION of a left turn in/out system at the Waterloo Junction could be open before Christmas, County Hall’s new director of roads has said.

Waterloo junction with the N20 Cork to Mallow road, closed with local residents, Waterloo, Co. Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Waterloo junction with the N20 Cork to Mallow road, closed with local residents, Waterloo, Co. Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

According to Cork County Council’s recently-appointed head of transportation Aidan Weir, local authority engineers are almost ready to deliver a plan devised in conjunction with Transport Infrastructure Ireland which will recommend implementing a left turn in/out system at the Waterloo Junction.

The plan would stop drivers from turning right travelling southbound on the N20 into the junction.

“We’ll do everything in our power to close this out before Christmas,” said Mr Weir.

“We will be dependent on contractors but we will do what we can. We are keen to bring the matter to a close,” he added.

However, local representatives have said this idea has been in the offing for a number of months and should already have been implemented after it was originally suggested months ago.

Councillor Bob Ryan (FF) said the junction needs to be reopened before Christmas and described the closure as “traumatic” for residents in Blarney and Whitechurch who saw their journey times significantly increase due to the closure of the junction back in June.

Gardai diverting traffic near Blarney, as a result of a road traffic accident near the Waterloo junction on the N20 Cork to Mallow road earlier this year.Picture: David Keane.
Gardai diverting traffic near Blarney, as a result of a road traffic accident near the Waterloo junction on the N20 Cork to Mallow road earlier this year.Picture: David Keane.

It had been the scene of numerous crashes in recent times including one which claimed the lives of two tourists.

“I would prefer if there was a full reopening of the junction but we are where we are and this new plan must be implemented as soon as possible,” he said.

Des O’Grady (SF) said too much time has been lost already and the plan must be expedited to provide relief for locals who have suffered major disruption as a result of the closure.

“This going to be resolved now but it’s where everybody knew this is where we were going to go and a lot of time could have been saved.

“I’d echo the appeal that the junction could be open before Christmas,” he added.

Kevin Conway (IND) said the time has come for the closure to be brought to an end.

“It is essential to get it open because it is having a major effect on schoolchildren and school buses. I have received many phone calls on it and continue to do so.”

The closure has seen Waterloo locals faced with a long diversion via Blarney to drop kids at school in Whitechurch after an initial temporary closure.

Following a safety audit carried out by the Council, a permanent closure was recommended but this was widely criticised during a public consultation period.

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