By Mariana Hervigo
AN article on camper vans having difficulty negotiating West Cork roads, drew a lot of response on social media recently.
A West Cork councillor had claimed that Fáilte Ireland should be sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter for sending camper vans down country roads.
At a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District, FF Cllr Joe Carroll said he was specifically talking about Toe Head in Castletownshend, because a farmer there was ‘sick and tired’ of pulling camper vans out of hedgerows with his tractor.
They were a lot of comments when the article was posted on The Southern Star’s Facebook page.
Many people who reacted to the post agreed that the road is dangerous and unsuitable for camper vans, like Lynne Timmis, who said: ‘It’s the roads that are not suitable for camper vans, and any others vehicles for that matter.’
Others, like Margaret Leonard think that ‘we should encourage campervans … all good for the economy’, adding: ‘Perhaps we should improve our roads’.
Others think that the problem is that there are too many tourists, like Maggie Jenkins who wrote: ‘It isn’t suitable for a Wild Atlantic Way! Great in theory but too many cars, tourists on the roads that are for farmers and local people.’
Máire Keating thinks the roads are ‘no less suitable for motorhomes than for cars’, as does Edwina Blake-will, who also says ‘they are not suitable for saloon cars either’. But are ‘all right if you drive a tractor’.
John Cahalane said he would ‘never try to drive to Toe Head’ in a campervan, but maybe would in a tractor, while Daniel O’Driscoll urged people not to forget walkers.
Fiona Major said that, as an owner of a campervan, she did not think the roads in West Cork were suitable for those vehicles.
Anna Burns is worried about cycling tourists, saying the narrow roads are not fit for cyclists who cycle side by side. Martin Horgan warns about ‘dangerous hedge growth’, a lack of road markings, and the fact most roads are just tarmaced boreens.
Also, Michelle Bravo related an experience of when she ‘met two poor bikes, one a Honda Goldwing’ who were ‘struggling with the roads.’
But Artemis Forest thinks they have found the solution, saying: ‘One way of dealing with it is to charge €50, cash in hand, to get them out of the ditch. That should top up your farm subsidies and provide a second income.’
Esther Sinnott took a more humorous view of the situation, telling a friend: ‘Told you to take a few driving lessons before you chance Wesht Cork.’