‘The people of Shanbally deserve a safe place to cross’, declared cathaoirleach Seamus McGrath (FF) at the monthly meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).
He repeated his call on the local authority to submit a formal request for a pedestrian crossing to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the body in charge of the main N28 highway running through the village between Shannon Park roundabout and Ringaskiddy.
‘The road is getting busier and as the port develops further, we’re going to see more heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) going through the village in the absence of the M28 which is several years off.’
Having referred to correspondence he received from a resident, he also asked to what extent was the council pursuing the request with the TII which would have to carry out a feasibility study for a crossing.
Seconding his motion, Cllr Marcia D’Alton(Ind) said it was ‘absolutely extraordinary’ that neither Shanbally and Ringaskiddy had a pedestrian crossing. As also pointed out by Cllr McGrath, Shanbally had a pub and shop on one side of the busy road and a church and school on the other.
‘If you attend a funeral in Shanbally and afterwards stand in the porch of the church, you will be blown away by what the people of the village have to live with in terms of the heavy traffic going through. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. That they don’t have a pedestrian crossing is nothing short of Third World. It’s disgraceful,’ she stated.
In support, Cllr Audrey Buckley (FF) said the difference to the time she as a child used to visit her grandparents Mike and Nonie Condon when they owned The Shamrock Bar was crazy. It was almost impossible to cross the road at Shanbally at peak traffic times and amazing that nothing had been done about it.
Senior executive engineer Madeleine Healysaid she had no problem discussing the matter further with the TII as to how it could be progressed. The motion was adopted.
Cllr McGrath also had a motion asking the engineer to assess the stretch of road from Coolmore Cross to the Grotto at Shanbally with a view to additional public lighting being installed and a plan put in place for a footpath. Cllr D’Alton seconded.
Cllr McGrath accepted that putting in a footpath would be expensive but the area was quite densely populated and poorly lit so a plan at least was needed.
Ms Healy said she would discuss the lighting request with the council’s public lighting section ahead of its 2020 programme. She also undertook to look at the line of possible footpath but sections were quite narrow and it would be costly since some land acquisition would be required.
MD officer Noelle Desmond reported that Ringaskiddy Residents’ Association were working with Energy Hub, Cork to apply for additional funding from SEAI grants and a decision on this was expected at the end of February.
If approved, it would supplement the €100,00 allocated to Ringaskiddy by the council under the Village Renewal Scheme to renovate and refurbish the Community Centre. Works included improving energy efficiency, replacing windows, improving access and upgrading the floors and kitchen.
Ringaskiddy is also benefiting under the 2019 Village Enhancement Scheme which will complement the Public Realm Enhancement Plan and a significant Port of Cork funded Community Gain Fund arising out of major works on the new container terminal.