DOUGLAS and Rochestown residents say they will bring their fight against plans to build the M28 Ringaskiddy Motorway all the way to An Bord Pleanála.
Hundreds of outraged residents packed out the Rochestown Park Hotel last night, in opposition to plans for the road.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Cork County Council pressed ahead with original plans for the motorway late last month, despite receiving over 500 submissions from locals.
“Residents have many concerns like the severe noise pollution, increased traffic and the removal of trees," Gerard Harrington, co-chair of the M28 Steering Group.
"People living in Douglas, Mount Oval, Carr's Hill, Rochestown, Maryborough Hill and beyond are extremely concerned over the plans for the area."
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Another concern for people is the planned compulsory purchase orders of their properties and homes to facilitate the motorway along with increased noise.
”Noise levels will reach dangerous levels in residents’ homes,” Mr Harrington said.
“Mulcron Valley is a deep valley. Council engineers themselves have confirmed to us that it will be way in excess of 80 to 85 decibels when this thing goes ahead,” he said.
The World Health Organisation recommends 55 decibels as a maximum noise level limit, he added.
“As one resident said to me ‘I can close my eyes at night, but I can’t close my ears.’” Speaking at the meeting, M28 Steering group co-chair Francis Murphy said: “We’re just ordinary residents, we’re not engineers, we’re not politicians. My own feeling is that this is about good planning for our children, for our children’s children. Douglas and Rochestown is a beautiful area. We want to keep it safe.” All information the group has about the project comes directly from the TII and is based on fact, Mr Harrington said.
“This is not an inter-urban motorway, this is a port motorway, 4,000 articulated vehicles, according to the Port themselves and the TII, are going to traverse through the Mulcon Valley.”
“The reality is this motorway is going ahead, irrespective of what these people have said tonight. What we’re trying to achieve is to go to an Bord Pleanála if necessary, try to get them to see sense first which we’ve been trying to do, then go to an Bord Pleanála and challenge the route.”
“We are not against the Port, or the motorway per se. We only have issue with a three-kilometre portion which we believe should be rerouted away from a densely populated area,” he added.
The Steering Group said that if the motorway proceeds as planned, the Fingerpost Roundabout in Douglas will be removed and replaced with a traffic light system.
This will lead to major delays for commuters coming off the Motorway on to the Rochestown Road as it joins existing traffic heading to Douglas Village, according to the group. The current roundabout at St Patrick’s Church will also be removed and replaced with a traffic light system.
The meeting heard that traffic gridlock on the Rochestown Road will also increase as future housing projects are developed in the area as no additional road infrastructure is to be put in place.
A new motorway grade off ramp into Mount Oval Village will begin 100 metres from the Bloomfield Flyover, cutting across trees, towards the base of the Rowan Hill, Ardkeale development.
This will require the construction of a three-metre high wall, as well as coming within four metres of properties at Rowan Hill, according to the groupThere will also be no trees or woodland left to act as a form of protective barrier against noise, the group added.