RESIDENTS of Waterloo and Whitechurch will continue their campaign for a full reopening of the N20 junction as works begin to establish partial access.
Cork County Council said in a statement that works to facilitate a left turn in/out system at the Waterloo junction will start before the end of the month and should be completed by early February.
The junction has been closed since June. It had been the scene of numerous serious crashes in recent times including one which claimed the lives of two tourists.
However, 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.
The Waterloo Access Group, which has campaigned against the closure said the left turn in/out system should not be the final solution.
Spokesperson Jonathan Healy told the Evening Echo: “Nobody in the community is happy that access hasn't been fully restored. This goes some way to resolving the issues but ultimately, we need a long-term solution. The campaign for full access will continue."
The new left turn system has been devised by Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
The plan would stop drivers from turning right while travelling southbound on the N20 into the junction.
Senator Colm Burke said concerns about access and issues regarding school bus routes remain and he wants to see a full reopening with new safety measures implemented.
“Residents are of the strong view that it should be restored to what it was originally. I would hope this is the first step in returning the junction what it was. The junction is closed since early June and it has caused huge inconvenience to the residents there.
“The other big problem is that the school transport nexus is decided on not how the crow flies but the road that the bus has to travel. Waterloo is very tied in with Whitechurch and it's important that link is maintained and we need the junction opened fully.
“There have to be safety issues taken into account. Long-term, it needs to be decided how we go forward to restoring it fully and safely. That will be a challenging problem,” he added.