There has been some statements made in recent days to the press, broadcast and on social media aswell as to locals, community groups, business people in the Banteer/Kanturk area and regular commuters through Ballymaquirke junction regarding the upgrading of this dangerous junction.
While at the very outset, I want to state clearly there is nobody more than me who wants to have these improvements works completed as soon as is possible for the users of this junction, however, I believe the statements issued over the last week by some are wholly inaccurate and grossly misleading to the general public. As a public representative, I have always believed in giving people accurate information on an issue. Sadly, some don’t seem to believe in this which creates uncertainty and distress for communities.
As of today, 8th October 2018, the current position with regard to Ballymaquirke Junction is as follows:
Repair of current road & improve sightlines at Ballymaquirke Junction:
· The National Roads Office of CCC as approved by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have this week gone to tender to complete re-instatement works to the road surface at Ballymaquirke junction. The current surface and in particular from the Kanturk exit at Ballymaquirke is extremely rough and in my view is creating to the possibility of further accidents as a result. This when complete will make an enormous difference to the daily commuters who have to navigate this junction and will act as interim works until the roundabout proceeds.
· TII and Department of Transport have sanctioned monies for these works.
· Depending on outcome of tenders and availability of contractors will determine the timing of same works but it is my hope this work can be completed before year end.
· Further trimming of hedgerows and trees in the area will also be done to improve current sightlines.
New roundabout at Ballymaquirke Junction:
· The National Roads Office of CCC has following a detailed survey of the site recommended a roundabout be placed at Ballymaquirke junction. This has been accepted by the TII
· The TII have recently approved the National Roads Office of CCC to seek consultants to prepare a detailed design for the new roundabout. This is currently proceeding and funding has been allocated from TII to CCC to acquire these consultants
· Once this design is complete, it will formally come forward as a Part 8 Planning proposal (Council’s formal planning process) which will include seeking submissions on the roundabout proposal from stakeholders, state agencies and the general public
· The National Roads Office of CCC have confirmed to me the development of a roundabout here will involve the acquisition of lands around the current junction so as the accommodate the new roundabout. While is it hoped that these lands can be acquired by local agreement, a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) may be required in the event of no agreement being reached.
· This area is also in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) being located so near the River Blackwater so mitigation measures will undoubtedly be required as part of this development.
· It is estimated the cost of the entire works of planning, acquiring lands, developing and installing of a new roundabout will be in the region of €1m – €1.5m.
· The timeframe for these works have not been confirmed as it is too early in this process to suggest one – The programme of works involved to bring the new roundabout to construction stage is dependent on the outcome of the above preliminary works.
As a local representative for this area, I will do my utmost to ensure we reach the construction stage of this new roundabout as soon as is practically possible and would encourage all public representatives, both local and national, stakeholders and all interested parties to work with Cork County Council and the TII in ensuring this project succeeds. Statements such as the one forward to my office this week (See below) are not helpful in advancing this project.
It was Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea who raised the matter about the safety at Ballymaquirke junction in the first instance within Cork County Council and minute records of the Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District meetings (available on www.corkcoco.ie) can verify same.
Statement issued by a public representative last week and forwarded to Cllr. O’ Shea office:
“Update on Ballymaquirke Junction – Transport Infrastructure Ireland have confirmed to me that they have approved funding to carry out substantial works to this dangerous junction, and they have asked Cork County Council to prepare a detailed design with the intention of beginning works in 2019.
Cork County Council have recommended the construction of a roundabout at the junction and this will be welcome news for the motorists using the junction every day, and for the local community who have been campaigning on this issue”.