Annual Traffic Increases Identifies Need For Castlemartyr Bypass

By Seamus Whelehan

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It’s a question that has frustrated residents, businesses and politicians for decades – how do you solve Castlemartyr congestion issues?

Renewed calls for a bypass for the village were made at this month’s East Cork Municipal District meeting, in an effort to solve the chronic congestion which has plagued the area for decades.

Bottlenecks have suffocated the town, seeing traffic volumes increase in recent years.

Figures released by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland have shown a significant increase in vehicles passing through Castlemartyr since 2015.

Cllr James O’Connor told the Municipal District that despite the large volumes of traffic a bypass for the town was not a TII priority as the government had not listed it as an essential piece of infrastructure.

The Fianna Fail Cllr said “as long as the bypass project is not included in the National Development Plan, the TII are not going to give a toss about it.”

He said “getting a bypass for Castlemartyr is needed from an air quality point of view and road safety for the village.”

Figures compiled by the national roads authority, TII, show 512,000 vehicles passed through Castlemartyr in September.

The figure represents an increase of 11,000 vehicles travelling through the village when compared with the same period in 2015.

“Having that many of cars going through a cross roads inside a small village is not sustainable it’s causing multiple issues” said Cllr O’Connor.

The general election candidate for Cork East added “public transport from Youghal is getting less and that’s affecting residents with local roads in the area being plagued with cars every evening.”

He said roads in Mogeely, Killeagh and Ladysbridge were becoming rat runs for cars avoiding congestion in Castlemartyr during the morning and evening rush hour.

Fine Gael Cllr Susan McCarthy said the bypass project may be included on the national plan once a feasibility study is completed, which is currently ongoing.

Fellow Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty said “some form of a bypass has to be pursued.”

He said “if it’s kept at a reasonable level if they brought the bypass somewhere just outside castlemartyr, cost wise it would be a strong possibility funding would be made available.”

“What was spoken of a number of years ago when the tiger was roaring, to run from Lakeview and to join the Youghal Bypass was never going to happen in my lifetime.”

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