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Fears major sewerage and flood projects are driving businesses out of West Cork town

Cork County Council's economic development department has been asked to draw up plans to attract small and medium-sized businesses to Bandon amid fears major sewerage and flood projects underway in the town are driving them out.

Standing orders were suspended at a meeting of the council's western division at the request of Cllr Gillian Coughlan who said inadequate signage for diversions needed for the construction projects was causing chaos.

She added that some roads in the area being used for diversions were dangerous because they had big verge-side ditches which vehicles could easily slip into.

Cllr Coughlan said the situation in Bandon "was deteriorating daily for residents and businesses".

She said the inadequate signage was leading large lorries and cars towing caravans into cul-de-sacs.

The councillor said one diversion route was entirely unsuitable because of deep dykes on the side of the road and overgrown hedges.

"I'm very afraid we'll have a beautiful town, but not many businesses in it. I'm calling on the council's economic development unit to try and attract more small and medium businesses into the town. I'm very concerned for the future of Bandon," Cllr Coughlan said.

Cllr Kevin Murphy agreed with her about the inadequate signage and diversion routes.

"If a truck goes into one of those dykes it won't come out. If there was a proper traffic management plan in place there wouldn't be an issue," he added.

Cllr Sean O'Donovan said residents and businesses are very angry.

"It's not good enough the way they're being treated," he said.

Padraig Barrett, the council's director of roads and transportation, said he would address issues with the contractors and Irish Water.

"We will look at the signage issues and I'll ensure the diversion routes are put in order," he said.

Divisional manager Clodagh Henehan said she understood the upheaval the projects were causing, but added:

"In the end, Bandon is going to really benefit. It will have much improved roads and footpaths."

She said she would talk to the economic development department about Cllr Coughlan's request for ideas to attract new businesses.