Frustration at lack of action on safety measures for busy Cork city road

Last year, councillors in the city’s North West ward agreed to provide €25,000 of their local area budget towards traffic calming on Harbour View Road
Frustration at lack of action on safety measures for busy Cork city road

Councillors Mick Nugent (left) and Kenneth Collins at the junction of Harbour View Road from Beara Drive. Picture Denis Minihane.

RESIDENTS on Cork’s Harbour View Road who lobbied extensively for traffic calming measures may once again take protest action if progress isn’t made soon to address safety issues on the busy thoroughfare, one of the campaigners has said.

Last year, councillors in the city’s North West ward agreed to provide €25,000 of their local area budget towards traffic calming on Harbour View Road.

The funding allocation followed a campaign by local residents after two high profile traffic incidents on the road in 2020 which included one fatality, that of 16-year-old Kimberly O'Connor.

A report to councillors in the North West ward in January stated that, following the ringfenced funding, Cork City Council had undertaken a number of site visits to review the issues and that options “have been considered including a series of 10 ramps along the road, build outs, raised tables and traffic light interventions”.

“Harbour View Road has particular constraints, facilitating a main bus route with many direct residential entrances and providing access to a number of businesses.

“A number of accidents which have occurred were a result of ‘joyriding’ and speed ramps will not necessarily address this issue.

“Taking this into account, it is considered appropriate to engage a suitably qualified transport engineering consultant to review all factors relating to speed on the road, to consult with the community and design a suitable solution in accordance with current best practice.

“This will ensure a holistic approach and a design which would enhance the area for residents,” the report continued.

It added that the cost of engaging a consultant could be €25,000 and the executive proposed to use the local area committee (LAC) funding to cover this.

“Once a design is prepared and construction costs identified, options for funding this will be considered,” the council’s report continued.

Local resident Don O’Sullivan expressed frustration at the lack of action since funding was ringfenced.

Harbour View Road, Knockaheeny.
Harbour View Road, Knockaheeny.

“We are aware that there’s other bus routes with speed ramps around the city - you have Rossa Avenue, you have them up in Mayfield,” he said.

“We’re not going to solve all the problems with the speed ramps, but I think we were of the understanding that the speed ramps would be developed and we’re here now with the council looking to carry out a survey.” 

Mr O’Sullivan was speaking to The Echo ahead of a residents meeting in Knocknaheeny to discuss the concerns.

Following the meeting, Mr O’Sullivan said residents have communicated to local councillors that they do not have an issue with an independent report being conducted once a further €25,000 is allocated from the LAC budget to carry out the works.

“If the money is spent on a report, our fear is that there’s no money to carry out the works and we’ll have a piece of paper worth €25,000 doing nothing.” 

He pointed to the volume of vehicular traffic on the road and the speed at which some traffic travels at.

“We did get two speed responders on the road. There are signs telling people it’s a 50kph road, but we do see traffic going 85kph in a residential area,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan said residents may take protest action if progress is not made soon.

“It won’t be a footpath protest like before. We don’t want to go down that road but if it does drag on then we are prepared to do it,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent told The Echo he would be in favour of using the ringfenced funding to implement the traffic calming measures.

“Our feeling was that there was an outline of a plan in terms of traffic calming measures and putting in ramps at Harbour View Road and that money was to fund that. That was the understanding amongst the councillors.

“The council executive came back to say they felt it needed to be looked at and designed by an independent engineer and the funds should go to that.

“The consensus of the councillors wasn’t actually in favour at the time.

“At the moment there’s no immediate progress on using the funding for the traffic calming measures.

“Certainly myself and Cllr Kenneth Collins would like to see the €25,000 set aside actually used for traffic calming on Harbour View Road.

“Either way we’re looking for progress on it. We were told we’d have a report at the next LAC meeting,” he said.

Separately at the meeting on Tuesday, residents discussed concerns surrounding the junction of Harbour View Road and Beara Drive, something which Mr Nugent said he has raised with the council.

“I would describe it as a blind corner.

“If you’re coming out of there [Beara Drive] and turning onto Harbour View Road, your view is obscured because of parking spaces put in when the new houses were developed and then there’s a footpath built out so your view basically is blocked from traffic coming on your right,” he explained.

“I think it’s a danger and I think something needs to be done.”

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