RESIDENTS in Ballineen and Enniskeane have become alarmed at the speed in which vehicles are passing through their villages.
The issue was raised by Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) as a notice of motion at a meeting of the West Cork Municipal District in Dunmanway after local groups petitioned him, and other Council members, to address the problem as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Hurley, who is the chairman of the Council’s strategic policy committee for roads and transport, said: ‘Something will have to be done before lives are lost.’
The Independent councillor pointed out that traffic travelling through the villages to the city has increased and residents are alarmed at the careless driving of most motorists.
He said: ‘Residents have requested speed ramps, but would settle for vehicle activation signs.’
These signs provide feedback to motorists about the speed at which they are travelling, and advises them to slow down and observe
the 50km speed limit.
John Ahern, the Council’s senior executive engineer, said the cost of the speed activated signs would be in the region of €7,000, and he suggested that they could be funded on a 50:50 basis by the Council and the community.
Alternatively, he suggested that the lights could be funded until a CLAR programme. The engineer also pointed out: ‘It is widely accepted that the effectiveness of the driver feedback signs tends to wane over time, and the enforcement of the speed limits is a matter for An Garda Siochana.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) spoke about how a €40,000 pedestrian crossing that was installed near the villages’ medical centre, a few years ago, had provided pedestrians with some protection.
But he said a petition from the local primary school, St Mary’s, from BEDA – the Ballineen and Enniskeane Development Association – and from the local Tidy Towns committee underlined the seriousness of the problem.
After the meeting, Cllr Hurley told The Southern Star that he had discussed the proposal with the twin-communities and there is a willingness to press ahead with the proposed 50:50 project.
‘It looks like that might be a runner,’ he said, ‘and that the signs will be put in place following a combined effort on the part of the communities in the twin-villages and the local authority.’