BY BRIAN MOORE
THERE have been calls for a stretch of road in a beauty spot to be closed to traffic for a time on Sundays, to facilitate people with autism.
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) proposed the temporary closure of the ‘Avenue’ at Rathbarry/Castlefreke on Sundays, to create a safe recreational area for people with autism.
Cllr O’Sullivan said: ‘This would create a noise-free, beautiful walkway for families.’
Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG), supporting the motion, said: ‘This is a very worthwhile proposal and I would call on all parties and Cork County Council to come together to make this happen. We have no idea of the pressures families with children with autism and other special needs are under, and this would be a welcome venue for them to take a walk without the added pressure of traffic and noise.’
However, it was pointed out that the closure of a road was subject to national legislation, the Roads Act 1993 and Road Regulations 1994, which provides only for the one-off closure of a road, subject to Garda notification, insurance, diversion routes and other traffic management procedures being put in place.
‘This would be a very positive step for many families in the area,’ Cllr O’Sullivan added. ‘Following on from the success of the autism-friendly shopping evenings that are held in Scallys [SuperValu in Clonakilty], a scenic walk such as the ‘Avenue’ would provide a much-needed safe, recreation area. I would call on the Council to explore what can be done and to see if we can make this a regular event.’