All posts by Marcia D'Alton

Irish Water briefing on Passage West total road closure, 13-08-2018

At a public information session in the PACE Centre this evening, Irish Water clarified that it intends to go ahead with the planned total closure of the R610 at Passage West library on Monday. The closure won’t be implemented until 9.30/10am that first day. Anyone living in the vicinity of the works will have to find parking as close as they can, using the closed road if they have to. If anyone trying to access Dr. Shannon’s or Dr. O’Flynn’s surgery is especially incapacitated, ring Carol Harris (086-1449548) and access will be arranged. They will dig for 90 metres by the library and they will take another 20 metres either side of that for movement of construction machinery.
 
A representative of Bus Eireann was at this evening’s meeting. He confirmed that the 223 would take the Rochestown Inn – Carrigmahon Hill route and although there may be issues in coinciding with shuttle bus connections, they will work it the best they can. No clear answer yet on private school bus runs but it appears that the Rochestown College bus is considering taking the same Carrigmahon Hill route to the Monastery. Kearney’s is currently inspecting the route to see if it is passable for their double decker. The Douglas Gaelscoil bus is likely to take its usual route but will go from Pembroke Wood to Church Hill via the Back Road/Fair Hill.
 
Irish Water will monitor the back road to the Monastery to see how bad it gets but they are not committing to traffic management on it. There will be three sets of lights on the Back Road/Fair Hill. Signage at the Rochestown Church roundabout will tell HGVs heading for Passage West/Ringaskiddy to use the N28. They are not to use the local roads.
 
Irish Water has promised to in future give a full week’s notice of any future meetings or lodging of road closure licence applications. They have committed to funding a decent marketing plan for local businesses. They distributed another information leaflet which you can access here: IW information sheet, 10-08-2018.  
There are an additional 7 weeks of closures to come on the Cork Road, 5 of which are full closures. Another 5 weeks of a full closure is expected for Glenbrook – Lucia Place. It is not likely to happen until after Christmas and they will have another meeting about that when the redesign for that stretch is finalised.

Road closures in Passage West to start 13th August 2018

Cork County Council has granted Irish Water/Ward & Burke a licence for the total closure of the R610 (Cork Street) to lay a 90 metre stretch of sewer around the Passage West library.  The area to be dug is the yellow one in the picture below. It has been granted for 4 weeks.

When this work is complete, the sewer-laying will move into the greenway (green area above) for three weeks.  The greenway will not be accessible during this time.  Three more road closure applications will be submitted to complete the works on the Cork Road in Passage West.  The light blue, pink and grey ones will all be total road closures whilst the dark blue one will be a partial road closure, i.e. single lane flow permitted with lights.

The road closure licence is based on the contractor’s commitment to working 7 days a week and 12 hour days and has the following conditions attached:

1. A public meeting is to be held with all interested stakeholders to give a detailed briefing on the overall plan to complete works in Passage/Glenbrook. No further closures on the R610 will be granted until after this meeting has been held and a full programme of works has been submitted.

2. No road closures will be granted on the R610 after 31st October 2018 to allow Passage West to recover trade for the Christmas season.

3. Any remaining road closures after this date required on the Cork Road or Glenbrook to be planned to coincide with school holidays/mid term breaks.

4. Working Hours to be agreed with Area Office prior to road closure.

5. Full width road reinstatement is required for the full extent of this and all future road closure applications required for the completion of the works.

6. A road opening licence must be applied for to cover the planned works.

7. Traffic lights are to be used on the L2475 (Back road) outside of contractors working hours. During working hours traffic on the road is to be controlled using a Stop go system.

8. The applicant will need to survey the L2475 (Back road) to assess any areas of overhanging branches/hedges that may impact on traffic and any areas of hedge cutting/verge cutting as required for road safety / sight distance at junctions and these are to to be cut back as necessary subject to compliance with Wild Life Act and land owners agreement. This needs to be done before the road closure is put in place. This is to be monitored at regular intervals during the road closure.

9. The applicant is to put in place a system to regularly monitor the L2475 surface condition during the closure. If there are potholes on the route these are to be repaired immediately during the closure period.

10. The applicant will need to put in place a daily check system to ensure the road condition and signage in place on both the official diversion route and local routes are in order.

11. No HGV’s are to use the L2475 (Back road). Signage to be put in place signifying route for HGV’s.

12. Full engagement with Businesses in Passage West to assist with difficulties in trading associated with this Closure. This is to include advertisements in Local press/Social media as well as agreed signage.

13. Provide details of the revised bus arrangements for the Passage West service including revised routes and shuttle bus arrangements. Confirmation of engagement with Bus Eireann should be provided at least one week before closure to begin.

Irish Water/Ervia has issued an information brochure on arrangements for access during this coming four week period.  It can be accessed here: FAQ on Cork Street Road Closure_Update 2

They have also organised a public information session tonight, 10th August, 6.30-8.30pm at the PACE Centre, Passage West.  It is expected to address both further details of arrangements during the upcoming closure and an overview of the future total closures that may be expected both on Cork Street and in Glenbrook.

Petition lodged with Cork County Council in objection to total road closure for Passage West

RE:  Objection to the application made to Cork County Council for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library

The following petition was sent from the people of Passage West and Monkstown to Cork County Council in objection to the   application for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library.

Because of the short time period allowed for submissions, this petition was available for signing in the town centres of Passage West and Monkstown for only 24 hours. Nonetheless, even in that short time, it allowed 688 people the opportunity to express their objection to the proposed total road closure.  The reason for that objection was set out in the cover page:

Although we are a harbourside town and we welcome the cleaning up of Cork Harbour, this is the second time within a month that total closure of the R610 has been proposed to facilitate the installation of sewers. The first time, the proposed closure was from Glenbrook – Lucia Place for a period of two months.  We strongly opposed it and it was withdrawn.  A rethink was promised.  This proposed closure is the first part of what would be an even longer closure of the Cork Road.  We equally vehemently oppose this proposed road closure.

  1. The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road would seriously impinge on the everyday lives of residents and would have a catastrophic impact on the viability of businesses, particularly in Passage West town centre.
  2. The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road is likely to be even longer than that previously proposed for Glenbrook – Lucia Place.  
  3. No information has been presented on the expected Glenbrook – Lucia Place closure. It is impossible for businesses and residents to evaluate the full impact of these proposed total road closures unless they are presented holistically.  The likely reality is that the two total road closures could span a collective 4 – 6 months.
  4. The impact of any prolonged total road closure on business is far longer than the period of the closure itself. What is proposed in these road closures would close several businesses in Passage West town centre entirely and would catastrophically impact on all others.
  5. There is much concern that the advertised 18 km alternative route for emergency vehicles could place lives and property at risk.
  6. The 223 is the only public bus route through Passage West/Monkstown. The alternative proposed shuttle bus arrangements are unsatisfactory and would prohibit the bus from use as a reliable form of transport. 
  7. The alternative route identified involves travelling the temporary road surface laid by Ward & Burke from Monkstown through Raffeen to the N28. Its poor quality has a costly and detrimental effect on vehicles.
  8. Neither the surface nor the width of our local roads could accommodate the diverted local traffic which would inevitably use them to avoid the 18 km advertised alternative route.
  9. Many working in the Ringaskiddy Strategic Employment Area commute through Passage West/Monkstown so as to avoid congestion on Carr’s Hill.The impact on the wider road network of forcing all commuting traffic through the Shannonpark roundabout has not been considered.
  10. A total road closure such as is being suggested for the R610 through Passage West would effectively shut down any town and is an entirely unprecedented proposal.

For over a year we have lived with significant inconvenience to accommodate the laying of sewers.  We have tolerated the inconvenience because we understand the benefits of the Lower Harbour drainage scheme.  Our town cannot withstand the burden of what is now proposed.  We need more time so that businesses can employ expert engineering and legal advice.  We need Ward and Burke/Ervia to use every resource to achieve real reductions in the length of time for which these total closures are proposed. Failing those deliverables, we call for Ervia/Irish Water to return to the planning process to seek approval for an alternative route by which the sewer can be brought through Passage West – a route that will keep the R610 open.

Signatures
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Municipal Districts Creative Communities Scheme 2018

County Council‘s Municipal Districts Creative Communities Scheme 2018 is open for applications.

The Creative Communities Scheme will provide €150,000 funding to support the development of new community based arts projects, encouraging community groups to work with arts organisations and individual artists to develop arts and cultural projects at local level. The scheme aims to promote access to the arts and to increase public participation and involvement in creative activity.

The guidance notes for applying to the grant scheme are here:
Creative Communities 2018 funding call announced[2]

The application form for the scheme is here:
Application Form CORK COUNTY MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS Creative Communities Scheme 2018

Introduction to my motion to Full Council on Recreation and Amenity, 25th July 2016

“That the current reorganisation of the Directorate structures of Cork County Council would include a section dedicated to Recreation and Amenity, the functions of which would include development of a Recreation and Amenity Strategy for the County, co-ordination of Recreation and Amenity developments throughout the Municipal Districts and development of the proposed network of cycling infrastructure throughout County Cork.  Easily accessible Recreation and Amenity opportunities are critical for healthy communities and provision of same is a local authority function which is almost always welcome.”

Recreation and amenity infrastructure of all kinds is vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in a community and a region.

Parks and recreation programs and services contribute in a significant way to the physical and mental health of people of all ages.

They are essential for social engagement.

They are valuable to creating and enhancing community spirit.

They help to foster environmental responsibility.

They are also very important for the economy. Parks, trails and recreation facilities increase property values and tax revenue. Quality parks and recreation are cited as one of the top three reasons that business cites in relocation decisions.

 

Provision of recreation and amenity facilities is one of local authority’s core functions. And we as a Council have developed some excellent sites and facilities. But there is still a deficit. Some of our staff have real expertise in the development of recreational facilities and if that expertise were collated in a dedicated section, it would have the drive to co-ordinate and promote cohesive and structured integration of recreation and amenity facilities in everything we do.

Dublin City Council has a Cultural and Amenities Section.

Cork City has a Recreation, Amenities and Emergency Services Section

Tipperary County Council has a Community and Economic Development Section which includes the development of cultural and recreational areas

Waterford City and County Council has a Community and Sport Department.

All I’m asking is that within the Municipal District Directorate, the County Council would incorporate a small but distinct section with a specific focus on the co-ordination of development of Recreation and Amenity facilities throughout the county. Their expertise will feed down through the Municipal District structure to the Area Offices who are doing the work on the ground. We need that kind of structure if we are to optimise limited opportunities for funding, think in an innovative way and advance positively even the plans and strategies we already have in place.

The irony is that although as local authority we have a defined set of core functions, recreation and amenity is one which always gives us huge bang for our buck. It brings pleasure. It promotes Cork County Council in a positive way. It is worth investing in and it is worth being the best we can be at it.