A PROPOSAL by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to increase the speed limits on a stretch of road bordered by a busy caravan and camping site and an equally busy service station was described as ‘bonkers’ by councillors at a recent meeting of the West Cork Municipal District.
Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) was the most vocal in opposing a proposal by TII to increase the speed limit on the road passing Cronin’s service station and the Eagle Point campsite from 60km to 80km.
Referring to a number of proposed changes to speed limits on the Bantry to Glengarriff road, Cllr Murphy said that none of them were acceptable.
‘Especially the proposal to put in an 80km zone – from half way beyond the Ouvane Falls to Cronin’s – which is currently 60.’
He said the proposal ‘beggars belief’ given that the route is very busy with pedestrians walking to and from the campsite, the service station and shop, as well as the bar and restaurant at the Ouvane Falls.
He pointed out that the Council is planning to safely accommodate pedestrians by putting a footpath in place.
To change the speed limit – particularly in the absence of a footpath for pedestrians – would be totally counter-productive, he suggested.
Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) said he appreciates the fact that TII has a responsibility to keep traffic moving on the N71, but he said they are clearly not taking local knowledge into account when making decisions.
Cllr Hayes called on TII not to proceed with their proposed increased speed limit, as it would be ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
Area engineer Ruth O’Brien outlined the recent TII proposals in relation to the alterations to the speed limits in Donemark and Snave, Ballylickey.
She acknowledged that the revised proposal to move the existing 60kph further to the east, to the straight between Eagle Point campsite, Cronin’s service station and supermarket and the Ouvane Falls, was strongly rejected by the elected members.
She said she would consult with TII and reiterate their request to extend the 60kph.
She also noted that the members also ‘strongly rejected’ the proposal to extend the 80kph further to the south towards Bantry, at Donemark.