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.