By Kieran O’Mahony
PLANS for road repairs at Lowertown, on the main road between Schull and Goleen, are to be deferred for three years, due to the presence of Japanese knotweed.
Cllr Michael Collins questioned the reason for the deferral of works on this stretch of road at the recent Western Committee meeting and was surprised to hear that it was due to Japanese Knotweed.
‘The funding was approved for this stretch of road which is in badly need of repair and I was surprised to hear that it could take up to three years to treat the weed to effectively remove it,’ said Cllr Collins.
A spokesperson for Cork County Council said that as well as a group water scheme being tied up on this stretch of road, the presence of the Japanese weed meant that work will have to be deferred. Councillors were told that the knotweed must be sprayed three years running before being cut – otherwise it will spread to other areas.
‘I was expecting everything, but not a three-year wait for works to begin, and I am disappointed that it now won’t start for another three years. There are only two parts on this road where you can pick up speed and now this weed is stopping the work.’ Cllr Joe Carroll said that people have serious concerns about the plant moving into private dwellings and questioned whether the whole situation is being treated seriously.
A spokesperson for the Council said it would take a combined effort to tackle the problem and that treatment will begin in mid-August.
Cork County Council has guidelines on their website for anyone who finds Japanese Knotweed on their property. They advise against strimming or cutting the plant, as tiny fragments can regenerate new plants, making it even more difficult to manage.
Eradication of this plant also requires planning and follow-up treatments. It is also an offence to plant, disperse, allow dispersal, or cause the spread of Japanese Knotweed.