Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has committed to providing funds for the provision of a local relief road that removes HGV traffic from the main street in Charleville and for safety works to be carried out in the north Cork town.
The allocation of funding was confirmed at Monday’s full council meeting when the Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey read out a letter from the TII confirming their intention to set aside funding following the deaths of two people in the space of less than three weeks after fatal road traffic collisions involving HGVs in Charleville.
"Charleville is classified as a high collision location as a result of a 2019 TII review," Mr Lucey explained. "We received confirmation from TII who wrote to us formally agreeing that a local relief road that removes the HGV traffic from main street has considerable merits. They added that they agree to fund the immediate planning of such a facility."
Mr Lucey said this funding will be in addition to any short-term safety words needed.
“Such a facility (relief road) could use existing infrastructure, but if [that's] not possible, look to see what is possible or available in the vicinity of the town," he explained. "To assist in its delivery, it would be very helpful if local community, landowners, and businesses were behind same. This funding is in addition to any short-term safety works needed.”
Mr Lucey welcomed the commitment from the TII as "extremely positive news".
"It is very clear that TII will fund in the first instance a possible relief route through the town or in the vicinity for the purpose of HGVs, but also work with us on the development of safety improvement works in the town as well," he said.
"That is for the purpose of expediting the existing process for Charleville so we can get proposals designed to address the pedestrian safety specifically. That will go to TII.
"It will require alterations to improve visibility for safety pedestrians. We would be hopeful that TII working with us will fund that at the earliest possible date,” he added.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ian Doyle who brought forward the motion seeking urgent communication with the TII, also welcomed the news.
"Charleville is a huge retail and commercial community hub of north Cork," he said. "At some stage of the day, 40% of the traffic going through Charleville town is HGV traffic.
Fine Gael councillor John Paul O’Shea highlighted the need for updating pedestrian crossings in the town, and progressing plans for a relief road in the area.