Disappointment Expressed Over Ballinrea Cross Design Delay
Updated: Jun 11, 2021
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF) has expressed major frustration and disappointment over the continued delay to the re-design of Ballinrea Cross, Carrigaline.
Cllr McGrath, at the latest meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) submitted a motion requesting a “written update on the proposed roundabout at Ballinrea Cross”, which was due to form part of the overall redesign of Ballinrea Road and Ashgrove Roundabout ahead of the opening of the new 3-school campus in Ballinrea.
In 2017, after planning permission was granted for the construction of the site, which will soon be home to the Gaelscoil, Gaelcholáiste and SONAS, councillors in the then Ballincollig-Carrigaline district had been informed that as part of the overall process, Ballinrea Cross would be upgraded to support traffic flow and make the necessary changes required to deal with the new educational services.
In spring of 2020, Cork County Council revealed significant design proposals that would take place along Ballinrea Road and Ashgrove Roundabout. Over the summer the development plans had been open to public consultation. Due to the pandemic,
Part 8 Planning extended its deadline for submissions until July 17th. A large number of submissions were made by individuals and groups across Carrigaline. Naturally queries were raised by adjacent estates, with residents in Carrigcourt particularly concerned with the drop-off and collection situation that will emerge once the schools open.
However, despite the constant request from councillors and residents alike for Ballinrea Cross to be included as part of the Ballinrea Road and Ashgrove Roundabout design process, the Council indicated that it would instead have to be formed in a separate design proposal, but it was made clear both then and several times previously that the project would look to be completed before the opening of the large campus.
It now seems that the upgrade of Ballinrea Cross, which is likely to see the construction of a roundabout, will now not be delivered in time for the opening of the schools, which are still expected to be opened by the end of the year.
In response to his motion, Cllr McGrath was informed that Cork County Council are only in the process of preparing “a brief for the appointment of a consultant for the preliminary design of the junction upgrade”. As a result, it would appear that the project is a long way off completion.
Expressing concern and frustration, Cllr McGrath told The Carrigdhoun Newspaper that the latest response from the Council is one that “I have been getting for the last 3 years”. He went on to say that “it is now clear that Ballinrea Cross won’t be upgraded in time for the opening of the school campus, which is really disappointing. We must now try and make sure that the timeline between the upgrade after the opening of the schools is reduced as much as possible. For me this is a total failure of the system. We know that the school campus is going to add extra volume to the road, where there are already a number of health and safety concerns now in regards to Ballinrea Cross. As councillors, we just have to keep making the point about how important it is for this redesign to take place as soon as possible.”
Construction on the site and along Ballinrea Road continues to take place, with works having also recently begun around Ashgrove Roundabout and to the path adjacent to the Carrigcourt estate.