WHOLESALE traffic changes are needed to ease issues in Douglas, according to councillors in Cork City.
Elected members of Cork City Council have given the go-ahead to a scheme which will see the removal of the existing roundabout on South Douglas Road at the junction with the N40 ramp.
A signalised junction will replace the junction in a bid to alleviate the gridlock in the area.
Councillors have agreed to send the plans for public consultation, with Cork County Council taking control of the project from this point.
However, it is just the first of many things needed to revamp traffic in the Douglas area, with residents and businesses alike complaining of constant gridlock at busy times.
Councillors had previously put the brakes on initial plans before Christmas amid fears that residents in Willow Park would be marooned in their homes.
The initial plans saw the off-ramp from the N40 South Ring Road merged with the road exiting the housing estate, with a yellow box the only form of traffic calming on the stretch of road.
The revised plans include traffic lights instead, a move broadly welcomed by elected members.
The new light systems will all be linked by high-tech cables, ensuring that they work in sequence to keep traffic moving, according to city officials.
Fianna Fáil's Terry Shannon said that he still had doubts about the overall impact of the plan, but welcomed the changes.
Similarly, Sinn Féin's Shane O'Shea praised the Council for listening to the concerns raised.
However, Mr O'Shea said that the traffic problems in Douglas are just going to get worse.
"You have planning permission for KFC and Lidl in the area now which is going to see even more of an increase. We need a holistic view for Douglas or we will have a logjam right into the heart of the village,"
His party colleague Thomas Gould backed the call.
"The County Council have a lot to answer for," he said.
"They give out planning without hesitation and they have ruined one of the nicest villages in the county. The sooner we take Douglas into the city, the better it will be for Douglas and for Cork."
Sinn Féin's Chris O'Leary said any changes to traffic flow in Douglas can be felt throughout the entire south-east ward.
"There are still a number of residents to be convinced," he said.
"It will impinge on the south-east ward. The fact is that the traffic volumes on this road are a sign of a total overuse of the South Link.
It is over-capacity and we have to do something about this demand."
Mr O'Leary said that the wrong move could result in even worse bottlenecks in the area.
"The issue is that we are not the local authority for the entire Douglas area. We could have solved this a long time ago if we had the powers in the area."
Independent Kieran McCarthy also hit out at the traffic problems in Douglas.
"It needs millions of euro to sort out the entire scale of problems there," he said.
"A lot more thinking will need to happen in both the city and the county as the population and traffic flow increases in the area."