A PROPOSAL for traffic capacity interventions at Little Island has been passed by councillors but concerns have been raised about pedestrian safety once the changes are implemented.
Cork County Council engineers plan to alter the way motorists enter and exit Little Island by putting in an extra lane at the Eastgate Bridge entering into Little Island, while the Crompain roundabout will be adjusted to accommodate the change.
The proposal has been unanimously welcomed by councillors in the area but they have asked for County engineers to include a steel railing or increase the size of the curb as footpaths on the R623 overbridge on the N25 to accommodate an extra lane will be reduced by almost half their original size to 1.8m.
Councillor Padraig O'Sullivan (FF) stressed the majority of locals and business are in favour of the changes but asked that pedestrian safety is reconsidered by county engineers.
“The proposal is going to half the width of the footpath that goes over the bridge in Little Island. It is quite wide at the moment but on any particular day, several heavy good vehicles go over the bridge. It is quite a severe change without taking any other measures to compensate for the footpath,” he said.
“There has been a number of accidents on that road in recent years and one fatality a couple of hundred metres away.
Cathal Rasmussen (LAB) added: “We accept that traffic will be going very slow at certain times in this area but off-peak times, people will still be walking and traffic will be going very fast.”
County chief executive Tim Lucey said there is no other way of dealing with the issue other than reducing the width of the footpaths and the plan is safe.
“We are trying to resolve a significant issue down in Little Island and we've a very firm proposal put to the members which is designed appropriately at this point in time.
“There are constraints. That is a fact. It has been designed appropriately so that it is safe. There is no question of [Cork County council] designing something that isn't safe. That would be the wrong message on this.
“It is a fact that the width of the footpath will be reduced and there is no other way of dealing with the traffic issues down there without doing that,” he added.