By Kieran O’Mahony
IT was described as the ‘most unfortunate corner in the county’ by Cllr Tim Lombard at the recent Western Committee meeting.
The notorious N71 corner – known as ‘chip van corner’ because of the food truck that once operated there – lies between Innishannon and Bandon.
Cllr Kevin Murphy said it wasn’t for the want of signage there and that everything has been changed, but the corner is still problematic.
‘There have been five different arrangements so far to improve this stretch of road, and these changes have been made with a view to making it safe.
‘The problem is that you can’t take away the rock, and the other thing is that people are ignoring the signs on approach,’ said Cllr Murphy.
‘I think the only answer is to put down rumble strips on both sides of the road which would make drivers slow down approaching the bend.’
Cllr Murphy also called for the route to be upgraded to a primary route.
‘We haven’t one inch of a primary route, and upgrading it would be of significant benefit to the county.’
Cllr Rachel McCarthy said that a solution to the corner has to be a priority with the NRA, especially after another recent accident there.
‘The investment in the Wild Atlantic Way should be matched with investment on the N71 and especially at this corner, which has seen cars crash into the barriers that are in place there. This is not a new problem and does the local authority have a plan for it?’ wondered Cllr McCarthy.
She asked if there was any chance of widening the road and reiterated that there will be other accidents on that stretch of road unless something is done.
Cllr Paul Hayes called for a different colour on the surface for this section, to highlight that there is an extreme bend.
‘This corner is lethal and more so for tourists or people not familiar with the road,’ said Cllr Hayes.
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan said something had to be done about the corner.
‘We need a commitment of funding and we, as a Council, need to push the case and get the works completed,’ he added.
A Council official said that they are very constrained with what they can do, due to the proximity to the river, and the hill on the other side, and it would be difficult to re-align it.