Pedestrian safety plan delayed
A shortage of funding is delaying the implementation of pedestrian safety measures on the busy R630 Ballinacurra to Whitegate Road in east Cork.
A senior Cork County Council official said the revenue may have to be derived, over several years, from low-cost safety and footpath programmes.
Tom Stritch also suggested the East Cork Municipal District Authority should consider part-funding safety works from its Town Development Fund from 2018 onwards. Such monies are normally available to main towns only, and Ballinacurra, or the R630, is not likely to qualify.
Low-cost safety schemes provide limited funding from Transport Infrastructure Ireland where sites meet accident volume criteria.
The proposed strategy was outlined by Mr Stritch, the council’s director of services for roads, in a response to concerns expressed by Cllr Noel Collins.
The R630 is an expansive 12km route, carrying a high volume of traffic daily, including oil tankers servicing Whitegate refinery.
Mr Collins says he is “inundated” with representations from residents in the area, fearful for their safety. Many housing estates along the route are populated with young families. Mr Collins had proposed a traffic island be installed on the road close to Ballinacurra village, about 2km south of Midleton.
Mr Stritch says significant road safety improvements, including pedestrian crossings, have been conducted on a short stretch of the R630 between Lakeview Roundabout and the Dark Road junction, near Ballinacurra. Funding to extend the works has since been unavailable.
The director explains that the council’s regional and local roads design office is “commencing surveys with a view to preparing designs” for the implementation of safety measures “incrementally as funding becomes available.”
Mr Stritch, in his correspondence, also said safety concerns at an existing zebra crossing on the Whitegate Road relate to “the length of the crossing and the relatively high approach speeds”.
He felt it was not feasible to “upgrade the crossing and provide footpath linkage in the vicinity” in isolation.