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Outcry over Waterloo decision

Wednesday, 10th October, 2018 5:09pm

Residents opposed to the closure of the Waterloo Junction have expressed fury after Cork County Council said it was to remain closed for the foreseeable future.

A Cork County Council meeting this week saw a number of protestors voice their concerns outside County Hall.

Councillors at the meeting voted unanimously for the junction to be reopened, but the Council executive appears to have put a stop to the plans while a statutory process is carried out.

A statement from Cork County Council said the process would “likely be concluded before the end of this month” and that “it would be inappropriate to conclude or withdraw the process prematurely”.

It said reopening the junction, which has been the scene of a number of serious or fatal accidents in the last year, before the process ended was not advisable due to “risk of further accidents at the junction”.

The future of the junction will next be raised at the next Blarney-Macroom Municipal District meeting on 26 October.

Residents of Waterloo and Whitechurch have campaigned against the closure of the junction, saying it will split their community in half.

Waterloo Access Group (WAG) Chairman Anthony Horgan said the group was now considering legal action to resolve the issue. He said: “We hope the Chief Executive will consider abandoning the process in view of the total opposition to this, and work on reopening the junction as safely as possible.

“It is incredibly frustrating for everybody. I mean, we’ve already endured last June with the junction closed, but people always thought there would be light at the end of the tunnel. We were all quite happy when we thought it was for resurfacing, improving and realigning the road.

“It’s a huge inconvenience. School buses have been disrupted hugely, journey times are a lot longer. I can’t go from one side to the other without going down through Blarney village.

“You’re looking at nearly an additional 10km journey time for some people, on narrow roads. People are rushing, meeting large trucks and vans, there’s been a number of minor accidents with people bursting and damaging tyres, hitting potholes and kerbs. There’s a danger there, you know.”

Cllr Kevin Conway called the situation a “disappointment” and said “the whole thing did not make sense, from start to finish”.

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