COUNCILLORS have called for a better communication process from officials after some of them got a ‘right roasting’ from the public over the works that took place on the Archdeacon Duggan Bridge in Kinsale last month.
At a recent meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District, councillors criticised the timing of the works, which had led to long traffic delays for locals and tourists during the height of the summer season.
Specialist works were undertaken to seal the bridge structure while pedestrian facilities were enhanced and the junction layout was improved.
Executive engineer Oliver Forbes said the footpath works will be completed soon and said this was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to seal the bridge structure, which was built in 1977.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said the timing of the works caused a lot of concern for people and while he acknowledged it was carried out in July because of the availability of a specialist contractor, he said it could have been handled better.
‘We probably could have communicated it better with the public and all Council officials got a right roasting about it especially during the weekends ,’ said Cllr Coleman.
‘There are two lessons to be learnt here; we must improve the communication on this and we have a strong communication office in County Hall and we should make use of that. Secondly a lot of work is planned for the bridge for next year and the timing and management of this will be important things. Maybe we can get this specialist contractor outside the summer season?’
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) welcomed the works on the bridge and added the wheelchair access is very welcome and will benefit a lot of people.
Meanwhile, at the same meeting, Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) said it was about time that they return to physical meetings instead of online meetings.
‘We have almost full capacity in-person Council meetings in County Hall and we should attempt to get the same for our municipal district meetings,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
Senior executive officer Mac Dara O h-Icí said they will keep an eye on the numbers for Covid cases but said there is no reason why next month’s meeting couldn’t take place in Bandon. He added that it could be held in Bandon Library as it has the technology to host a blended meeting.