Anger abound as roadworks carry on in Charleville
WORK was suspended on the road improvements at the northern entrance to Charleville town for a period last Monday morning to allow talks between business figures on the Limerick Road, representatives of Charleville Chamber, Cork County Cllr Ian Doyle and the contractors to take place regarding the current road works being carried out at Limerick Road, Charleville.
The works, which started on last Tuesday morning, June 5, caused disruption to traffic over last week and stimulated much criticism on social media at the weekend. Businesses in the affected area reported that trade was down 40 per cent. Also criticised was the short notice to traders regarding the commencement of the work, which was carried out during business and daylight hours instead of night work, which had been signified in the notice.
The work, which has been authorised by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland, is thought to be long overdue by locals, who feel the roadway through the Main Street is in an atrocious condition. The work is expected to last ten weeks from June 5.
Some 14,000 vehicles travel the roadway through the town on a daily basis. The local Chamber, in conjunction with Cork County Council, produced plans some years ago for a relief road, which would take heavy goods vehicles off the Main Street, but these were rejected by the TII.
The comments on social media also criticised the local Chamber of Commerce, saying local businesses had not been informed of the extent of the work. This prompted a response from the President of Charleville Chamber PJ McCarthy.
“Charleville Chamber understands the frustration caused by the current infrastructure works and empathises with both the business people and customers of Charleville Town,” he said. “We acknowledge that these works are essential within the town and are in the interest of the public’s health and safety.
“Charleville Chamber was informed that there would be upgrading works to Main Street, Charleville, with these works being carried out at night in order to minimise the disruption to local business and customers. The last time such works were undertaken on Main Street...it was successfully completed at night with minimum disruption to all concerned. The full extent of the current infrastructure works beyond the Main Street to Charleville Park Hotel, Limerick Road, and to the Medical Centre at Cork Road, has not been communicated to the businesses of Charleville, or Charleville Chamber. Charleville Chamber are appealing to TII, Cork County Council and local elected representatives to communicate clearly with the business of Charleville Town and Charleville Chamber.”
Additional infrastructure is needed to replace water mains on the Limerick Road, but the Chamber has called for these to be paused until a full engagement between authorities and all stakeholders, such as businesses, has taken place, to minimise disruption.
The Chamber acknowledged all customers who have continued to provide custom to businesses in the town, and the alliance advised people to plan their journeys ahead.
Meanwhile, Ray and Brendan Lee of Lee Centra, proprietors of stores on Main Street and Limerick Road, have also thanked their loyal customers, but claimed their business is down by around 40 per cent on the Limerick Road. They say their forecourt will be virtually inaccessible for the next fortnight or so.
“The first we heard of any of these works was last Thursday, May 31, when we received a letter from the construction company informing us that works would commence on June 5,” they claimed. “At no stage were we informed by Cork County Council or the National Roads Authority of any of the proposed works. Only that we requested a meeting with the construction company this afternoon...we would have been none the wiser as to the extent of the works around us over the next five weeks, and that is ever before the works move up through the town. We have worked hard through challenging years to maintain and grow our business and mostly we are proud of each and every one of the 72 amazing people we employ, who have helped us get to where we are today.
“All we can ask is that, where possible over the next number of weeks, you [customers] will do your best to support us. We are forever grateful for the custom and support that we get from Charleville and surrounding areas.”
CHARLEVILLE Mike McGrath’s LE firstname.lastname@example.org