Anger abound as road­works carry on in Charleville

The Corkman - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

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 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 mm­c­grath@cork­

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