Residents of Raffeen are demanding that something be done to curb speeding through the village, especially at peak commuter times.
Writes Leo McMahon
Their call for traffic calming measures was highlighted by
Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) and supported by fellow members at the monthly meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District (MD).
Residents, who did not wish to be named, told The Carrigdhoun that every workday morning from around 6.30 and every evening from 4 to 6pm, there is a constant stream of vehicles. Many travel at high speeds and there are frequent back-ups through the village which has a sharp bend at one end, a dangerous junction at the other and no footpaths. ‘If you try to cross the road, you get blown out of it,’ said one resident while another said it was almost impossible to get into your parked car at times.
‘Raffeen is a funnel for traffic in all directions’, said a resident. ‘Many drivers coming down Raffeen Hill (Strawberry Hill) don’t go on to the main road (N28) at Raffeen Bridge for Ringaskiddy but instead shoot straight across the junction and through the village (L4673) to avoid queuing. Other drivers come from the Board of Works road near Raffeen recycling centre, the ferry at Glenbrook or Passage West, converge here at speed and also use Raffeen as a shortcut rat-run to Ringaskiddy. It’s the other way round every evening’.
‘When the road to and from Shanbally was closed to facilitate pipe laying by Irish Water works in November and December, it was the first time we and our children could walk and cycle to and from school and get to know neighbours along it. It was fantastic,’ said one Raffeen mother who pointed out that there are several children living in the village.
Residents for their part looked after an amenity area, sponsored many years ago by Pfizer, opposite the site of the former railway station and a smaller one near the junction but the traffic was a nightmare on what is eventually be part of a railway line greenway route.
‘The road through Raffeen is supposed to be governed by a 50 kilometres per hour speed limit and a three tonnes vehicle weight limit but this is being ignored’ a resident complained. It was so bad that it became necessary to sleep in the back room to avoid the ‘zoom, zoom’ of constant passing traffic every weekday morning. Furthermore, a protective barrier at the junction and plastic cones on the road to Raffeen Bridge had come down and were never restored and it was also pointed out that, one side of the village wasn’t connected to a recently laid water main from Shanbally.
Traffic Study Needed
As requested over 20 years ago, the residents said they wished to see a traffic study carried out and anti-speed ramps, arguing the road is suitable since it isn’t on a bus route. Failing that, there was need, they said, for physical narrowing of the road and signage to force vehicles to slow down at either end of the village, at the top by Shanbally. Reminder signs along the bendy and narrow route were also needed because at one point there was big drop into the Raffeen golf course and concern about the condition of a wall and possible subsidence.
They also took the opportunity to ask the council to do something about a derelict house bricked up for many years in Raffeen at a time when there are over 570 applicants on the housing waiting list in the Carrigaline area.
With improvement works and resurfacing coming on stream by the N28 Raffeen junction and on the R610 road to Monkstown, more vehicles would be using the road to and from Shanbally via the village so there was a strong case for traffic calming measures, said Cllr McGrath at the MD meeting. Other members agreed.
Senior executive engineer Madeleine Healy undertook to investigate.
Cllr McGrath also repeated his call for replacement of the temporary plastic barriers on the damaged roadside between Raffeen and the N28 junction.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said stones were falling from the earth bank on to the carriageway along the same section of road where was also a concern about a fallen tree and asked that the stones be removed. Cllr McGrath concurred.
Cllr D’Alton had a motion asking the council to outline any mechanism of compensation that may be relevant and useful for people who experienced and continued to experience excessive damage and wear to cars as a result of damage incurred on roads in the MD arising from the ongoing Lower Harbour Drainage works.
Unless there was direct damage attributable to specific works, there wasn’t any comeback for people traversing the roads, replied senior executive officer Jim Molloy. For general wear and tear, there was no mechanism available to address the issue.
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