Notes from a meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District, 16th February 2015

Executive present: Kevin O’Regan (Municipal District Officer), Maurice Manning (S/Director of Services), Madeleine Healy (Area Engineer), Niall O’Callaghan (A/Senior Executive Engineer, Roads)


1.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th January 2015.

Confirmed and seconded.

Matters arising :

Cllr D’Alton:  Asks for clarification of how the 30kph speed limit in estates will be progressed.  Manager had been going to check this up.  Also has the statutory process for consultation on the litter plan started.  If not, please could the Members be informed when the consultation is starting?

MDO:  Spoke to John Donegan.  Will be introduced on a county-wide basis.  The time for the full county review of speed limits is coming up so he’s not sure if the 30km limit will be taken out and done separately or whether it will be incorporated.  Will speak further to Aidan Weir.

Cllr Forde:  These were separately done.  Girl from Kilkenny is outside the Dail today.  Are we kicking to touch?  Is there a chance these won’t be implemented?

MDO:  No.  They will be done.  The same process is involved for the 5 pilot estates as for the whole county.  Long process.  So Aidan Weir will decide how to proceed with it overall.

DoS:  Understanding is that each of the Municipal Districts will decide 5 estates as pilots and then all the pilots will be advertised together.

Cllr Forde:  Ardkeale is asking for traffic calming.  Has a petition.  Estate is in the hands of a receiver.  What authority has the Council to put this forward?  We have told residents that if they put a petition together they would get traffic calming.

DoS:  Guidance from the Department is that all estates will ultimately have 30 kph but the Council thinks this is not practical.  Until an estate is taken in charge, the Council can do nothing.

Cllr McGrath:  Movement this week from the campaigners seems to be towards a 20 kph speed limit.  Is there to be any change in our approach because of this?

Cllr Forde:  That will happen nationally and then we’ll be informed.

DoS:  Consultation on the Litter Plan hasn’t yet started.  Waiting for all Municipal Districts to be ready.  Will tell us when statutory consultation period will start.


2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations:

National Transport Authority approved projects 2015 (SEE, Roads)

The seven projects funded are:

  • Tramore Valley N40 Pedestrian and Cycle Overbridge
  • South Douglas Road/Tramore Valley Cycle Link
  • Carrigaline Green Route – Maryborough Hill
  • Douglas Village Sustainable Transport Network
  • Cycle and Pedestrian Links at N40 Underbridges
  • Old Carrigaline Road
  • Douglas Community Park

Tramore Valley N40 pedestrian and cycle overbridge – This is being set out in conjunction with Cork City Council.  Funding is helping towards funding preliminary design.  Funding towards construction is not yet sourced.  Costing is one of the action items of the preliminary design.

Cycle link – This is an existing but unused pathway upgrade.  Again being carried out with Cork City Council.  The City Council will maintain the infrastructure as part of the Tramore Valley Park infrastructure.

Green Route – Funding allocated for completion of the project.  Phase 2 will be completed by the end of this month.  CPO for final section has commenced.  All construction can be expected to be finished by end 2015.

Douglas Village – Finalising preliminary design for improved village junctions in line with Douglas LUTS.  Design will have to be agreed with the NTA.  Then design will be presented to Members.  After that, it will go to Part 8 planning.

N40 underbridges – For the Douglas East bridge, only the east side is being worked on.  For the Douglas West bridge, both sides are being worked on.  Works will involve removal of a section of bridge embankment to accommodate future pedestrian and cycle facilities.  Will be done during school holidays.

Old Carrigaline Road – This funding will complete the works and will also improve lighting.

Projects that weren’t allocated funding were supported by the NTA and CCC hopes to get funding for these at a later date.   These are Ballybrack Valley Shared Cyclist and Pedestrian Route Phase 2 and Inchvale Road Shared Cyclist and Pedestrian Route.

Cllr Forde:  Thanks Niall and his colleagues for the great work done.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Bridge linking Tramore Valley park is potentially very exciting.  Good to see this being progressed.  These projects are very valuable.  Disappointed that Inchvale Road was not funded.  Will it be 12 months before this is potentially funded again?  Hopes that next year this list will include Lehenaghbeg/Lehenaghmore roads and the Carrigaline Relief Road.  LUTS very well thought out but is it absolutely set in stone because some concern about some business owners that connectivity with Douglas Road may be reduced?

Cllr O’Donnabhain:  Thanks staff for report.  Significant amount of works funded here.  But there is not a single mention of the largest town in the entire county here.  Will there be a supplementary in relation to Ballincollig?

Cllr McGrath:  Thanks Niall.  The Douglas LUTS has been shown to be a worthwhile strategy.  Junctions in Douglas village – funding is for preparation of detailed design and contract document.  There will be Part 8s involved in many of those changes.  Could Niall comment on this?  Is funding only for design or is the County Council actually intending to do work on the ground?  What work on the ground will there be generally in 2015?  Crossing at Donnybrook Hill (Scart Cross) is also a recommendation of the DLUTS.  Why upgrade an existing crossing when there is none at all at Scart Cross?  Situation quite serious at Scart Cross.  Was this an NTA call or a Council call?   Did you actually apply for funding for Scart Cross?

Cllr Desmond:  Great to see Douglas LUTS rolling out.  Has anyone ever considered a filter lane to the left as you’re doing down the South Douglas Road and under the western N40 underbridge?  Huge traffic issues here at any time of the day because there is no filter to the left.

Cllr Collins:  Thanks for presentation.  Situation with Ballincollig mirrors that in Carrigaline.  Has the split in Carrigaline come against the town.  Cogan’s Corner project has disappeared entirely.

Cllr Forde:  Welcomes the NTA funding.  Great to see it coming to the county.  The NTA modus operandi is to create permeability and accessibility.  Crossings at Douglas Court do not feature here at all.  Lighting here is poor, etc.  Why is that not added?  Many senior citizens are very nervous crossing there.  By the church in Carrigaline is not mentioned.  Many crossings there which straddle the NRA remit and the Council’s remit.  Why are these not here?  Thinks we need to be looking at the entrance to Patrick’s Woollen Mills.  Pedestrian crossing is at the wrong side of that entrance.  Should be on the South County side.  Trucks trying to turn in here and there isn’t enough room for them.

Cllr Harris:  Welcomes the allocations.  Inchvale Road cycleway – lots of local opposition.  Many elderly residents not happy to lose their green to the walkway/cyclepath.  We could do with a raised footpath there to stop people parking up on it.

Cllr D’Alton:  Could Niall please outline whether the pedestrian crossings that have been mentioned are not included because NTA funded projects are strategic rather than simple upgrading or maintenance?  Must all NTA funded projects be strategic?

SEE, Roads:  Funding allocated is for the design of junctions, etc. in Douglas.  We’re to-ing and fro-ing with the NTA as to what will work best for the whole village.  Once we have a proposed preliminary design that we’re happy with and that is agreed with the NTA, we will come to the Members.  Then we will go to Part 8.  We have good momentum going with this project and we want to keep it up.  RPS is currently doing the design.  That does up to contract documents.  But that’s it.  The South Douglas Road/Tramore Valley cycle link will be done on the ground this year.  The surface is quite poor there.  Maryborough Hill will be completed.  Underbriges will be done.  This is accommodation works; other works will come out in the preliminary design for creating that whole network.  So we’re going to take out the embankments, put in a retaining wall so that we can use that space for cyclepaths in the future.  There will just be footpaths in the short term.  Douglas Community Park widening of footpath will be done on the ground.  The Donnybrook crossing has been suggested to the NTA and it also links to the Ballybrack Cycle track.  Yes, the NTA funds projects with a strategic backing.  They want to see something that is being done with other plans for other works down the line.  They want to see a strategic plan.  The filter lane under the western underbridge was considered as part of the traffic modelling.  Ultimate proposal is to take out the roundabout and put in a signalised slipway.  Will also be linking that junction to the City Councils scoot system so all the traffic lights will be talking to each other.  By linking those lights together with those at the junction of Tesco, it is hoped that the current congestion will be alleviated.

Cllr Forde:  Thinks there could be more liaison between the local Area Engineer and the NTA approved projects.  Wouldn’t there be more sense in working together?  Appreciates the strategic focus of the NTA projects.  What about the land in front of Ronan O’Gara’s house on Maryborough Hill?

SEE, Roads:  Have started a CPO on this land.  There is no strategic plan for Ballincollig as there is for Douglas.

Cllr O’Donnabhain:  Largest town in the County.  No transport provision from the NTA for the year at all?  If we start at the Poulavone Roundabout, we move in and come to the Link Road junction with Leesdale.  Lobbied for 3 years to change this.  Done in 2014.  Have situations at 3 other locations, including East Gate.  Executives at VM Ware have stated that the traffic issue in Ballincollig has made them consider other locations for future expansions.  Finding the NTA overlooking the largest town in the county as being completely unacceptable.

AE:  Doesn’t fall into the precise remit of the local engineer’s office.  The programme of works here are based on a decision that was made a few years ago in relation to the strategic development of the Douglas area.  Ballincollig needs to be looked at for sure, but these works are based on a plan that was devised to deal with the congestion in Douglas.

Cllr O’Donnabhain:  Not taking away from Douglas but we have follow-on problems arising from changes made a few years ago.  National primary route is going through the middle of the town.  Would the NTA like to come visit us and explain why they are giving nothing to Ballincollig?  Major glaring problems have been pointed out over and over.  Costing us employment and jobs.

AE:  NTA is looking at enhancing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists only.  Won’t deal with day to day traffic congestion.  That is not their remit.  Problems in Ballincollig are more to do with the national route and the associated issues following on from the Green Route.

SEE, Roads:  Cogan’s Corner has not fallen off the list.  Every year we have shovel-ready projects for funding that comes additional to the first allocation.  We are hopeful there will be such funding this year.  It will be ready to go for that.

Cllr McGrath:  Scart Cross – appreciates Niall’s point.  Could we link Ballybrack Phase 2 with Scart Cross in future?  That would make it more strategic and help it get funding.  We had a series of meetings during the course of the DLUTS preparation.  We emphasised the importance of the sequencing and the implementation of the Plan.  Can we schedule a DLUTS update meeting?  Would help the new Members and refresh all as to what happens when.  This part is very important.  Funding is geared towards Douglas.  No surprise because the view of the NTA is urban-oriented.  We don’t have a bypass road in Carrigaline either.  Doesn’t appear that the NTA will be funding out as far as Carrigaline in future.  For those sustainable travel projects to take off, we need to find alternative sources of funding and we need to be mindful of that and face up to the reality that the NTA isn’t going to fund them.

SEE, Roads:  NTA has indicated that they like the plan for Douglas.  They are funding a project in Little Island however.  DLUTS is a 5-year plan up to 2017.

Cllr Forde:  Thanks Niall and his colleagues.


3.  Disposal of Property
To consider the disposal of property at Church Road, Carrigaline, Co. Cork to Carrigaline Community Association, Carrigaline, Co. Cork for the consideration of €1.

Proposed and seconded.


4.  General Municipal Allocation (GMA) / Town Development Fund (TDF)

DoS:  Expect to be coming back with recommendations to Members on the grants in April.  There is no hard and fast rule as to how the applications will be allocated.  We’ll see what comes in.  Capital projects – if there is any doubt that the project may not go ahead in the short term, it may be best to wait until next year.  We are anxious that projects would push ahead as fast as possible.  Organisations need matching funding.  They should not be using our funding to start the fundraising.

Asks Members to consider the Town Development Fund Guidelines and to think about how the Town Development Fund might be spent.  The towns are defined as the settlements laid out in the County Development Plan.

Cllr Forde:  Could the TDF be used to upgrade the pedestrian crossing at Exham House?

DoS:  Funding is limited.  If all of it is to go on a single project, we won’t get the best use of it.  Not including or excluding anything, just need to give it thought.  Four towns – small amount of money.  Maybe should prioritise?

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Welcomes the substantial increase in community funding.  Presumes we’ll evaluate the number of grants that come in and see what is left over.  It was clarified at CPG that urban areas would be included.  Painting scheme would be worth including.  Projects of artistic value, Christmas lights also.

Cllr McGrath:  We need to focus our minds as to how this will be used best.  Have to make a decision as to how much of the GMA will be put towards the TDF.

Cllr D’Alton:  It is difficult to prioritise or proceed constructively without a plan.  Could we keep in mind that the TDF might prioritise a plan for each town?  Also agrees with Cllr O’Laoghaire’s suggestions for inclusion?


5.  To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:

Cllr M D’Alton:
“That as the Traffic and Transport Strategic Policy Committee has not produced all-county guidelines for pay parking arrangements as requested by the Members and the Corporate Policy Group for end 2014, the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District would now instigate the formal process for amending the Douglas Parking Byelaws as agreed by the Members of this Municipal District at its meeting on the 21st July 2014 and in accordance with the procedures laid down by Section 36 of the Road Traffic Act 1994.”

Cllr D’Alton:  This motion is self-explanatory.  Douglas has pay parking.  We have heard the many benefits of pay parking.  They are all accurate.  But there can be disadvantages also.  In the case of Douglas, these disadvantages can, in the short term, be overcome by simple amendment of the Parking Byelaws.  We as Members agreed this in July.  We were not permitted to advance formal procedures under the Road Traffic Act before the Traffic & Transport SPC had finished devising an all-county policy on pay parking.

I do not criticise the SPC for the delay in producing this all-county policy.  I am aware that a special meeting to further discuss the policy is to be organised for February.  But I do criticise the fact that whatever amendments this MD proposes for the Douglas Parking Byelaws is being thus delayed.

I cannot understand why there should be any tension in relation to this issue.  Not one of the Members has said that they don’t want pay parking in Douglas.  They simply want to make small changes to current policy make it work better for all.  To my mind, that is something management should welcome.  We are taking Council policy and, from the benefit of our experience on the ground, making suggestions to make it better.  Surely that is what local government is all about?

The amendments to the Douglas Parking Byelaws are totally independent of the work being currently undertaken by the SPC.  In fact, had they been enacted by now, they could have been very useful in informing the all-county policy being drafted by the SPC.

We as Members proposed that the first hour of parking would be free of charge.  Does management consider that too long?  Then let us talk about it and reach a compromise on a shorter free time period.  But this ball simply has to get rolling.  If we act now, we can have these changes made within a month.  I propose that we instigate the formal process for amending the Douglas Parking Byelaws as the Members agreed in July in accordance the procedures we are obliged to follow under the Road Traffic Act 1994.

Cllr McGrath:   Strongly of the view that change is required.  His motion in July kicked off that request of this Municipal District.  The SPC is meeting on Thursday of this week.  Thinks that is a flawed concept.  It is not possible to come up with an all-county policy.  In Feb 2013, David Boyle and himself suggested changes to the Byelaws.  Then it went to the SPC.  There is still no result.  Management must come into this.  Maybe makes sense to wait till after Thursday.  Doesn’t think management is going to allow us to proceed in advance of Thursday’s meeting.

Cllr Desmond:  We’re all in agreement.  We were asked to wait for the February meeting.  Thinks we should wait for this.  But SPC needs to be told that we are waiting for an immediate response.  Everything is taking a month and two months at a time.  Hopes there will be concrete recommendation.  But shouldn’t wait any longer than our next meeting.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:   This is an issue we thought we had received indications that would be resolved by December.  Indications were that the proposed policy would be very difficult to reach agreement on.  Also the first all-county proposals were financially negative for Municipal Districts who were to vary pay parking regime.  What exactly is the process?  Is there any aspect of it that can be started in advance of the SPC meeting?  Thought the relaxation around Christmas time showed there are no huge negative implications for traffic flow from amendment of the byelaws.

Cllr Harris:  Could we instruct the local traffic wardens in the interim to ease off on their brutal enforcement of the Byelaws?   Between that and the clampers it’s nearly impossible.  Met a couple of them but didn’t get very nice responses.  Their attitude is not good at all.  Douglas is deserted.  Parking spaces all over the place.  People working there are at their wits end.  The private situation is appalling as well.  It is becoming a no go area apart from the shopping centre.  Otherwise you’re under constant threat of being clamped or a getting ticket.

Cllr Forde:  We need to be careful what we say about how people operate their jobs but take his point that thinks need to be tweaked.  Need to be careful about the baby and the bathwater syndrome.

DoS:  The evidence that Douglas is a no-go area and that people are afraid of clamping is simply not there.  Important the Members see how pay parking has performed since it was introduced two years ago.  Level of transactions has increased.  Not true that nothing has happened in Douglas since the pay parking was introduced.  There have been an number of motions on this issue and on issues with regard to pay parking in other towns.  CE said that these motions should not be dealt with at Municipal District level.  Draft policy submitted by SPC was not agreed.  Revised document has now been prepared.  If there is agreement, it will be rerferred to next Monday’s full Council meeting.  This will allow the matter to be considered at the March Municipal District.

One of the recommendations of the draft policy is that Municipal Districts can decide how they want to introduce pay parking under the broad umbrella of the policy.

Cllr Forde: The private car parks in Douglas are doing very well.  The shortest possible route to a shop seems to be what concerns people.

Cllr D’Alton:  Arising from this meeting, we at least need a deadline.  Should policy not be agreed at the SPC meeting, can we set a deadline for ourselves by which we will initiate the changes to the Byelaws?

Cllr McGrath:  Agrees.

DoS:  If the SPC agrees a policy, that will be the Council policy.  If they don’t, it will be a matter for each Municipal District to decide.


Cllr D Forde:
a)  “That the Engineer outlines the roads program of works for 2015 and also footpath program”.

AE:  Has circulated the proposed restoration improvement programme for 2015.  Assumed when drawing this up that the 2015 allocation would be similar to 2014 allocation.  It might need fine-tuning when the allocation is announced but it will form the bedrock of the roads programme.

Restoration maintenance – have a draft list ready.  Once we know what the money we are getting is, we’ll put it together.  Thinks it should be confirmed for the March meeting.

There is no indication that there is separate funding for footpaths. We may have to set aside some portion of our general funding.  But given the urban nature of the area, footpaths will be important.

Cllr McGrath:  Manager has said that he will consider allocating funding towards footpaths in the capital budget.


b)  “That the Engineer clarifies if the Council is responsible for the section of roadway between east village and Ulster bank and upgrade same”.

AE:  Is in the charge of the Council and is on the list.  AE will recirculate the list.


c)  “That the crossing at Fingerpost between Exham house and Rochestown road be upgraded urgently for pedestrian safety”.

AE:  Have asked that all the entry points to the Fingerpost roundabout would have enhanced lighting.  The figure to achieve it is quite substantial.  Will speak to Peter O’Donoghue as to how the crossing points will be dealt with under DLUTS.  There is a crossing further down opposite Douglas Court.  Need to assess whether upgrading of this crossing would upset traffic flow.  Assuming nothing is being done to upgrade the crossing, it will take quite a lot of money to make it safe.

Cllr Forde:  By the time the NTA gets around to starting the Fingerpost, this cannot wait that long.  Most people coming up from the Rochestown Road don’t go to Douglas by Douglas Court; they cross to Exham House.

AE:  We can look at lining what’s there.  It is an uncontrolled crossing.   To upgrade it even to a zebra crossing or a pelican crossing would need substantial investment.


Cllr. S McGrath:
1.  To seek a written report on the Maryborough Hill Green Route phase 2 project outlining the following: The overall cost of the project to completion and the original estimated cost of the project. The additional cost incurred on the reinforcement of the retaining wall. The extent of site investigation work carried out on the project and the justification for not initially including the reinforcement work. Were Consultants involved in the initial design of the project, if so, who? Were planning conditions complied with on the site reinforced by the boundary wall with regard to the boundary treatment. The initial estimated duration of the project?

MDO:  The report is not yet available.  The SEE, Roads has other requests from other reps in relation to the same issue.  So he is doing an extra-comprehensive report and will circulate this week to everybody.

Cllr McGrath:  The running of this project has been an unmitigated disaster.  Started November 2013.  Due to be finished May 2014.  Road is in shocking condition.  Work is still ongoing.  Disappointed that the report isn’t available.  Would have thought a Municipal District request would have taken priority.  Answers would have been helpful for the debate.  Please put it on the agenda for the March meeting.

Cllr Desmond:  The footpaths are so bad – some of the temporary works caused a teenage girl to fall out in front of a car.  Very dark there also.  Street lights out make it worse.

Cllr Forde:  Thinks we have all been on to  County Hall about the project.  Delighted we’ve gone to CPO for the piece that’s left.  But delighted about the project generally.   Sees more people using the hill than ever before.

2) ” To seek an update from the Engineer regarding the request for traffic calming measures on Church Road, Carrigaline.”

AE:  A survey was done.  It did show speed.  Referred it to the Road Design Office.  Asked the gardai to keep an eye on the speed.  Put if forward for low cost improvement scheme.  Didn’t get funding, probably because speed is there but accidents are not.  Doesn’t have much money to do anything at this location.  Has asked Design Office to come up with some sort of a low cost scheme to see can we pick off small bits of it.  There are wide sections of the road in front of the graveyard and the business centre.  It is not easy to narrow them down.

Orange flashing lights would be as far we could go.


3) ” To seek an update on the proposal to install a Pelican Crossing at Scart Cross, Donnybrook Hill.”

Already discussed.


6.  Any Other Business

Cllr Canty:  The NTA spent a lot of money upgrading the Straight Road.  But the centre line was never moved over and the buses and trucks are very near the footpath because the road is not balanced.  Lots of people are walking on the footpath and are very close to wing mirrors.  Also flooding – it is ponding all the way down.  Can you ask the NRA and NTA to upgrade?  The road surface is cracking in patches.  There will be a catastrophe one of these nights.  Please write to the NRA.

AE:  We’ve already put in an application for funding for resurfacing and relining.

Cllr Canty:  The last 3 engineers through the Ballincollig office were aware of issues with the road at the back of Muskerry Estate.  Went for CPO at one stage; that died a death.  There is a lot of extra traffic associated with the school now.  No footpath, very dangerous.  All the rest of Ballincollig has footpaths, just not this section.  Please look at it.

Ballincollig opened 4 new businesses in January and February.  VM Ware has asked that the VEC and Cork Sports Partnership would move out of the building that they have.  They have both done so and got alternative locations.  VM Ware has moved into these buildings.  The traffic lights issue has been sorted.  There is only one traffic light issue outstanding.  Ballincollig is being improved and advertised as a model development and is being used as such all over the county and country.  Wants this message to go forward from here.

Cllr O’Laoghaire:  Thanks Area Engineer for coming to Lehenaghbeg.  Clean up of the lane between Centra and Togher back to Elmvale badly needed.  Has also had people come to him about footpaths along the back road in Ballincollig; supports Cllr Canty’s request.

Cllr Murphy:  Dog fouling in Passage West is awful.  Especially from Ardmore to Toureen.  Asks Area Engineer for signs.

Also congratulates St Peter’s on winning double in soccer and wishes Rochestown all the best in their final.

Cllr Forde:  Thinks we could congratulate more local teams at local level.

Cllr McGrath:  Thanks the Area Engineer because he sees that the work on the trees in Raffeen is imminent.
Road from Frankfield to Kinsale Rd roundabout – traffic in the morning there goes into two lanes.  Markings on the road there are not clear.  Can they be improved?

AE: Yes.  Will do.  Is on the lining list for this year.

Cllr Forde:  Rochestown road resurfacing?

AE:  The road sinks here because ground conditions are very poor.  A few years ago we picked out the isolated sections that had failed.  Now it’s the bits in between that have failed.  Is actively looking for money and hopes to get it done this year.