COUNTY HALL is continuing efforts to secure an upgrade of the Fota Road to a national route, with plans for significant housing developments on the Great Island in the works.
Director of Roads, Tom Stritch, said Cork County Council is close to submitting a proposal to the Department of Transport to have the R624 upgraded from a regional road which involves an appraisal of the project under the Government Capital Appraisal Framework.
“We will be submitting a form to the Department in the next two months. The whole Capital Appraisal Framework process is new and [the Department] had to agree to work with us and look at the drafts we have sent in,” he said.
“That is something that is actively being done,” he added.
The Fota Road was not included in the Government’s Ireland 2040 Plan, causing outrage among local politicians.
For over 40 years, representatives from Cobh have complained about the state of the Fota Road and called for significant investment to enable the town’s economic expansion. Plans were announced for a dual carriageway development in 2006 but were parked when the recession hit.
Currently, the Fota Road is the only roadway in and out of Cobh and, in the last decade, bad weather and road traffic accidents have forced the closure of the road on several occasions, essentially cutting off the town of 13,000, and preventing people from getting in or out.
Cobh residents were left stranded for hours in October as fallen trees blocked the only way off Great Island during Storm Ophelia.