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N71 crash hours after concerns aired

January 31st, 2023 7:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

N71 crash hours after concerns aired Image
Just one of a number of hazardous potholes in the road near Bandon. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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A THREE-vehicle collision took place at Gaggin near Bandon on Tuesday night, just hours after councillors called for urgent works to be carried out on the same stretch of road.

Gardaí  and emergency services attended the scene and one person was removed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, while the road was closed for a period.

The incident also came days after garda statistics revealed the Cork West garda division had the highest number of road traffic fatalities in the country in 2022 – with 11 recorded deaths.

Concerns over this particular stretch of road were raised by Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG) at Tuesday’s meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District. 

Speaking after the collision, just a few hours later, Cllr O’Sullivan said it proved the point that the dangerously-unravelling stretch of road now needs an urgent upgrade.

Cllr O’Sullivan called for the municipal district to write to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to seek urgent funding.

‘More traffic is being diverted onto this road as works take place in Bandon town centre, and it seriously needs to be upgraded. If we don’t ask for funding, we won’t get it,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan. 

‘We need to write to them as a matter of urgency.’

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said the road is caving in from the sides with really sharp edges and kerbs and that  a delegation from Cork County Council met with senior TII officials last year where this issue was raised but there has been no feedback since.

‘It’s timely that we do write to TII and ask them for a significant upgrade of this road,’ she added. ‘There is a huge amount of traffic using this road – it’s an important approach into Bandon from Clonakilty.’

The surface of the road is the key issue at the moment, said Cllr Coughlan, and she described the width of the road as totally inadequate for its designation as a national primary route.

Cork County Council senior executive engineer Richard Cahill agreed, and he said it’s ‘gone beyond potholes’ now. The road needs ‘a full overlay’ he said.

Members of the public took to social media after the incident on Tuesday night, with many agreeing that the particular section of roadway is currently unsuitable for use by heavy or wide vehicles. ‘Farm roadways are in better condition,’ said one.

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