Part 8 planning permission has been granted for Cork County Council‘s proposed upgrade of Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown. The Manager’s Report was brought to today’s meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District. Residents had made 22 submissions to the Part 8 consultation. The issues clearly causing most concern are the erection of traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction (which works well on a courtesy basis), the excessive use of traffic lights (4 in a little more than 1 km stretch of road), the absence of any cycle lane, the removal of the trees which lend this area its pleasant ambience and the inadequacy of Coach Hill to serve as a relief road for traffic when the upgrade is being constructed.
A copy of the Manager’s report is available here:
(Please note that the highlighting is my own done as part of the meeting prep!)
Councillors had many queries and echoed many of the concerns raised by residents at today’s meeting.
The engineers say the traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction are essential to provide safe egress to houses opposite Clarke’s Hill. They committed to reviewing the traffic light proposals as part of the detailed design phase. They assure that they have put genuine effort into counting every tree which may be affected by the scheme and will replace where at all possible. They continue to advise against the cycle facilities because installing them would mean additional land take. Also they say the NTA advises not to install a cycle lane where the gradient is more than 5%. (Clarke’s Hill has a gradient of 9%.) And they have indicated their intimate understanding of Coach Hill’s being incorporated into the traffic management part of the construction phase.
The upgrade is necessary but I am especially unhappy about the absence of cycle facilities. It is proposed to install two 2m wide footpaths as part of the scheme, one on either side of the road. I am of the strong opinion that one of these footpaths should be removed to provide a cycle lane for bikes going up Clarke’s Hill. If traffic on Clarke’s Hill increases as part of the M28 scheme (as is predicted), this would be the least we could do to increase safety for all vulnerable road users.
The scheme will now go to full Council for approval.
Irish Water’s application for a licence to close the next stretch of the R610 through #PassageWest will be advertised in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner.
Cork County Council has asked them to divide their licence application into two separate parts as follows:
Part 1 – approximately 40 m adjacent Toureen Terrace (roughly around the inlet area) to be closed for 2 weeks – from 1 – 16 October.
Part 2 – approximately 90m from Toureen Terrace to the comminutor station west of Oysterhaven Boats to be closed for 5 weeks from 22 October to 23 November
In between these two closures, a traffic light, stop-go system will operate along a 90m stretch of Toureen Terrace (roughly the area where there is parking alongside Patrick Murphy Park). This is expected to in place for two weeks. They do not need to apply for a road closure licence for this stretch. This is illustrated here:
These dates may vary and Irish Water has reassured that they have applied for more time than they need so that if they are finished one tranche of work earlier than expected, they can move on to the next.
All the diversion and shuttle bus arrangements as were in place for the past few weeks will be repeated for this coming closure. The Back Road diversion will not be necessary when the stop-go system is in place but it is likely that the shuttles will still operate because the R610 even though open will be constricted.
The Back Road will be unavailable for use as a diversion for the last two weeks of Part 2 of the closure. During this time, Ward & Burke will be laying the sewer in front of the Back Road junction, Oysterhaven Boats and tying it in to the existing sewer that at present runs into the comminutor. That will mean the only alternative route is around the back road to the Monastery. I needn’t describe the complications of that and the Council is well aware of them too. They want Irish Water to coincide one week of that two week period when the Back Road is unavailable with the school mid-term. School shuttle bus arrangements during this (probably week-long) period have yet to be confirmed.
When the road closure licence advertisement appears in tomorrow’s paper, it is likely that submissions will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday 12 September. As before, these can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irish Water has circulated an information leaflet about the closures and you can read that here:
Independent Councillor in the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District of County Cork