‘I’m very disappointed’, said cathaoirleach Seamus McGrath (FF) at the monthly meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) on the delay in starting work on the scheme to upgrade Ferney Road, Carrigaline and urged that this happen during the school summer holiday.
A report to members in response to his motion stated that accommodation works relating to landowners affected by the proposed road improvement scheme were currently being agreed. ‘A valuer has been appointed to determine compensation due to landowners. Once agreement has been reached with regard to the accommodation works, the tender documents will be finalized and the works tendered’.
Pointing out that he had been pursuing the project for a long time, Cllr McGrath said: ‘every time I look for a timeline, it’s moved forward and that’s extremely frustrating because people are extremely concerned about this road’.
Cllr McGrath said it was his understanding the council had gone through all the statutory processes, got permission from An Bord Pleanala to proceed and the last window in January for a legal challenge had passed, yet six months later, was back and forth with landowners for a scheme that was urgently required.
He said it would be ‘shameful’ if the bulk of the work, especially a footpath, wasn’t done during the school holiday period bearing in mind Ferney Road serves growing primary and secondary schools and many dwellings.
Senior executive engineer Madeleine Healy replied that it was now about dealing with residents to agree accommodation works and this was a slow process.
Cllr McGrath reiterated that the scheme was ‘critically important’ on a busy road where the safety of pedestrians and cyclists was compromised and the current road not fit for purpose. He asked that this message be conveyed to the roads section, adding that one landowner affected he met on the canvas told him he wasn’t contacted in a long time.
Cllr Liam O ‘Connor (FG) in support, said that as a resident of nearby Forest Hill, the need to make Ferney Road safer was a major concern during the recent local election canvas and pointed out that with more students coming on stream, it was a real health and safety issue and very disappointing having been told earlier this year the upgraded road could be ready by September.
He also pointed out that there was no bus stop between the Fernlea estate and Crosshaven Road which meant that students had to walk along the busy Ferney Road with no footpath in sections.
Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) agreed with Cllr McGrath and thought land acquisition was complete. The engineer said it was now about setting back boundary walls of several dwellings. Senior executive officer Jim Molloy undertook to pass on the MD’s concerns to the roads section.