TRANSPORT Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has been taken to task by a councillor in Bantry who said the resurfacing of Glengarriff Road and Marino Street has fallen off the radar.
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) tabled a motion at a recent meeting of the West Cork Municipal District because previous reassurances that the approach roads leading to Wolfe Tone Square in the centre of town have not been honoured.
Cllr Collins said he was told in 2017 that the resurfacing works were listed in the 2018 programme. Then, in 2018, he said he was told that the work would be done in the first quarter of 2019, and then the first quarter of 2020.
‘It makes us look bad,’ said Cllr Collins. ‘We went out and told people that the work would be done. Is it any wonder people say you can’t believe what a politician tells you?’
Cllr Collins had already raised the issue at a pre-Christmas meeting of the Western Committee and made his complaints to the Council’s director of roads.
He also decided to table a motion for the West Cork Municipal District’s first meeting in the New Year.
His motion called for ‘an exact date for the resurfacing of Marino Street and Glengarriff Road.’ He said that if the work is not done, the people of Bantry will be most unhappy because the condition of the roads is ‘cat melodeon’.
At the December meeting, the councillors were so unhappy with the condition of the road network throughout West Cork that they suggested sending a deputation to the Taoiseach.
The director of roads confirmed that the Council had a roads budget of €81m in 2007, but the amount fell to €30m per annum at its lowest level during the economic downturn
Last year, the Council had €61m to work with, but Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) suggested that the Council would need at least another €50m on top of that if it was serious about repairing the roads network in West Cork.
Cllr Holly Cairns (SD) agreed that the two roads in Bantry are so full of potholes that delivery drivers say it feels like driving on cobblestones.
Given all the accolades and awards that Bantry has garnered during the last 12 months, Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said something should be done to complete these long overdue road works.
‘This is the main route into town from the Kerry side,’ he said, ‘and it creates a terrible first impression.’
The councillors were informed that the work is the responsibility of the TII, and Cllr Danny Collins requested that a letter be sent from the Council asking ‘exactly when’ the work would be carried out. ‘People are constantly contacting me about it,’ he said, ‘residents and members of the business community – all of whom are paying their road taxes. It’s just not good enough.’