Cork County Council was urged to review the deferred N25 Midleton to Carrigtwohill road upgrade as drivers there end up “playing chicken” with oncoming traffic, a local authority meeting heard yesterday.
Fine Gael Cllr Anthony Barry called on the Southern Committee Meeting of the Council to “review the implications of the deferred Upgrade Scheme between Carrigtwohill and Midleton from a safety perspective, the development of an IDA site, and future residential development in Carrigtwohill and Midleton.”
Party colleague Cllr Susan McCarthy requested, that the “Southern Committee urgently request a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in order to reinstate the proposed N25 Midleton to Carrigtwohill upgrade.
Mr Barry said that as a resident and elected representative for people using that road, “I am appalled by the decision by the Minister and TII to abandon this upgrade.
“The fact is that no one can cross that road at the moment.”
In the intervening 50 years since it was built, there have been only minimal upgrades.
“Yet we’ve seen the population and the usage along that road absolutely explode in the intervening time period,” said Mr Barry.
At Midleton, traffic is being backed on to the motorway.
“The same happens when you are leaving Midleton, accessing on to the N25. There is no sliproad there. It’s a T-Junction. Nobody stops there, so you just play chicken with the traffic,” said Mr Barry.
Some 30,000 vehicles use it per day, and a former industrial site can’t be accessed at Ballyadam, he said.
A planning application has gone through granting temporary access for traffic going into Carrigtwohill’s Main Street.
“I am concerned that with the deferral, that may become a more permanent solution to developing this site, which would be totally unacceptable to the people of Carrigtwohill,” said Mr Barry.
Some €1.25m has been spent on the second design in ten years.
“So probably in excess of €2m has been wasted already,” added Mr Barry.
Ms McCarthy said it’s for the “whole of east Cork” and for connectivity to the rest of the country, “making it of national importance.”
The upgrade was first identified as a priority about 20 years ago. It was postponed following the downturn in 2008, and re-introduced about three years ago.
“Yet in 2022, at the stroke of a pen, the Minister decided to bin this project, with no indication as to when it would be re-instated,” said Ms McCarthy.
There have been “numerous accidents” on the road, and “everyday there is a line of traffic coming on to the fast lane because there is just not enough of a slip road.
Director of Services, Roads and Transportation, Pádraig Barrett, responded: “Cork County Council is awaiting details of the 2023 grant allocation for National Road schemes in County Cork, including the 2023 funding position for the N25 Carrigtohill to Midleton Scheme.
"In the event that the N25 Carrigtohill to Midleton Scheme receives no funding allocation for 2023, Cork County Council will progress a review of the implications of same, taking into consideration road safety and future development in the area.”