A COUNTY HALL safety report has recommended that the Waterloo N20 junction is closed permanently despite the objections of local residents.
Cork County Council’s chief executive Tim Lucey sent a letter to local residents, outlining that the preferred safety option is the closure of the junction.
The junction has been the scene of numerous serious crashes in recent times, including one which claimed the lives of two American tourists.
Before a final decision is made on the matter, Mr Lucey has given a commitment to examine a compromise proposal that would allow the Waterloo N20 junction to remain open via left turn access only.
The local authority received a submission from the Gardaí which allows for a left turn in and left turn out only on the junction, which means cars would not be crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic.
County Hall engineers are now working on developing the option, Mr Lucey said.
Residents in the Waterloo and Whitechurch areas fear the permanent closure of the junction would dramatically increase local journey times.
Around 200 local people attended a meeting of the Waterloo Access Group this week, where they again demanded that the junction remain entirely open with new safety measure introduced to reduce serious incidents.
Mr Lucey said in a letter to locals that a feasibility report reviewed the potential remedial measures that could be put in place.
He added the preferred safety option identified in the report is the closure of the junction.
“While the public consultation for this process is ongoing I do acknowledge that there is widespread local opposition to this proposal,” he said.
“One of the submissions received to-date is from An Garda Síochána which would support a left-in and left-out-only option.
“Such a proposal requires very careful design and will require a formal safety audit before it can be implemented. It would be unsafe and irresponsible to temporarily open or partially open the junction before such safety measures were audited.
“I wish to advise that there will be no undue delay on the council’s part in implementing alternative proposals should the closure option be rejected,” he added.