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LETTER: Rural roads need to be made safer

November 21st, 2015 5:08 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – What a wonderful article (Southern Star 31/10/15) ‘Cones, Conkers and Copters’! They missed only the delightful ‘popping’ of cones on a hot, sunny day.

My neighbour (in her early 50s), however, walked in Lough Hyne recently and on the road back to the car park broke her two ankles by stepping on to the road verge to allow a car to pass by her. As with most of our West Cork one-way roads for two-way traffic, verges are overgrown thickly with grasses, briars, nettles, bracken, etc.

She found what she thought a safe place, but her foot went into a well-hidden hole … possibly one of the deep ditches road maintenance dug for draining, instead of maintaining verges properly, so that even cars cannot drive out of them, as I’ve experienced and had to get a tow-truck.

We rural-dwellers and workers, like town-dwellers are strangled by taxes, but rural-dwellers get nothing in return. We install our water systems and maintain them at our own costs while town-dwellers have had free water and waste facilities for only the 2.2% increased VAT since the 1970s, which we also paid. We have nothing to compare to ‘lighted and maintained streets and amenities’ for our property tax.

Tourists are encouraged to come walk and cycle our ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, etc but these roads are killers! Tax money spent on reports, signs for townlands, road numbers and ridiculous 80km per hour speed limit signs are worthless, if roads are not safe to drive, cycle or walk – not to mention break-out cattle or those driven by ‘cowboxes’ without lights or with children.

Do something soon, not after endless, costly reports discussed endlessly and without real thoughtfulness, knowledge or intelligence. We need safe roads for tourists if not as arteries into towns to work, socialise or use the few remaining rural post offices to pay our taxes, bills and post letters and Christmas wishes.

Broadband, if one can get it and trust it, can’t replace the feeling of community and personalised services.

Lee Snodgrass,

Scarteenakillen,

Ballydehob. 

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