LONG-awaited plans to redevelop the Skehard Road in a bid to ease traffic congestion in Blackrock and Mahon were given the green light by Cork City Councillors last night.
Councillors voted to rubber stamp a Part 8 planning report for phase three of the major project to ease congestion in the area.
The plans, which deal with the stretch of road from the Church Road junction to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) office at the Mahon Link Road Junction, will incorporate a number of measures to improve the flow of traffic in the area.
Proposing the motion, Cllr Nicholas O’Keeffe commended the efforts of residents, public representatives and council officials in cooperating during an 18 month consultation period.
“I welcome this report and think that there is a lot to be positive about,” the Fianna Fáil councillor stated.
“The provision of extra turning lanes, bus lanes, cycle lanes, improved bus stops, traffic signals, footpath renewal and public lighting are all to be welcomed and appreciated.
“I think this particular plan was needed to tackle the ever increasing problem of traffic management in the Mahon and Blackrock area backing right into Ballintemple and so on.
"Residents who have been prisoners in their own homes each afternoon and early evening will see a notable difference once this plan is implemented and that is something that we all welcome.”
The work is projected to cost in the region of €3m to €5m, and Cllr O’Keeffe called on government to make those funds available as soon as possible to allow work on the scheme progress as quickly as possible.
He added that the maintenance of dialogue with local residents will be vital for the project to be a success.
“Engaging with the residents is going to be very important considering that pockets of private land are going to be procured for the project to progress.
“I welcome the commitment given and the collaboration by the team here in city hall that they are going to do their best efforts to make sure that residents aren’t discommoded and inconvenienced in the long run and that there will be negotiation and consent from everyone involved.
“A lot of trust has been placed by all parties in this and that is something to be aware of moving forward.”