CORK County Councillors are at odds with the local authority over a solution to traffic jams on the Inniscarra Bridge which links Ballincollig with Blarney, Macroom and Coachford.
The bridge is protected by a preservation order, meaning works to widen the lanes would be difficult and subject to numerous conditions. Council officials plan to install traffic lights to introduce a ‘stop and go’ system which would remain on red until cars approach. Sensors would then trigger the light sequence.
Motorists often experience delays in the area with many daily incidents of cars having to reverse back off the bridge to allow heavy goods vehicles to pass and cars on either side having to wait for rows of traffic coming from the opposite direction to pass before proceeding on their journey.
The main entrance to the Ballincollig Regional Park is also accessed via the bridge from the Inniscarra side.
Councillor Daithi Ó Donnabhain (FF) said he could not support the installation of light system as the town has a “poor history” with traffic lights and said that he believed that if the traffic plan is progressed, councillors would be discussing the issue again in a year as more problems are likely to arise. He said another bridge or laneway is needed to allow people ease of access into Ballincollig and out to the Inniscarra area as there were not enough crossing points on the Lee.
“Something needs to be done but I’m not sure lights will sort it out,” said Mr Ó Donnabhain.
Derry Canty (FG) said he can’t see the traffic light solution working: “Traffic lights are bad words in Ballincollig. I won’t object but we have to look at it. It’s up in the air and I have reservations.”
Council officials said the traffic light system would be cheaper than undertaking large infrastructure projects to provide more crossing points on the Lee — that would require large amounts of funding — and could be completed in a reasonable timeframe. As councillors could not agree on the traffic lights system, the matter will now be discussed at a full council meeting.