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Local anger over appalling state of N71 road

January 10th, 2017 7:05 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Transport Minister Shane Ross to hear West Cork people's concerns about N71.

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A DELEGATION of elected representatives, who are angry about the state of the road network in West Cork, and Council officials are to travel to Dublin this week to meet the Transport Minister, Shane Ross TD. 

The meeting – which is scheduled to take place at 12 noon in Leinster House on Wednesday next, January 11th – is being convened following a request made by Cork South West TD, Michael Collins. 

Deputy Collins and a cross-party delegation of county councillors are expected to raise issues about the poor state of the road network generally, and the under-investment of the government in the N71 specifically.

West Cork Sinn Féin councillor Paul Hayes thanked Deputy Collins for arranging the high-level meeting with Minister Ross, saying: ‘It will allow us to give a first-hand account of the many problems with the main artery into West Cork.’

The councillor said the delegation would present Minister Ross with the Garda road traffic figures for dangerous junctions, such the ‘chip van corner’ in Bandon and the Clonakilty to Rosscarbery road. 

He said they would highlight the need for investment on various ‘neglected’ sections of the N71, such as the main road through Bantry town centre.

Additionally, Cllr Hayes said they would be pointing out that many sections of the road network to Castletownbere, especially near Adrigole, are unsuitable for the heavy vehicles currently that are transporting millions of euro worth of fish annually.

‘We in Cork County Council are spending a lot of time and resources in promoting tourism, trying to improve connectivity and develop the region economically,’ said Cllr Hayes. ‘But we need to make sure the government and the Transport Minister are on the same page. 

‘We need to see a fair return for all the road tax motorists in Cork pay each year.’

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