A group of Residents living on some of East Cork’s worst potholed roads have hit out at Cork County Council for the continued neglect of their area.
Marie Flavin representing residents from Clashadonna, Ballyvergan West, Barnageehy, Kyle and Ballyhobard Upper and Lower, the March sitting of the East Cork Municipality meeting life is a constant struggle for many families in the area.
Peppered with potholes, taxis refuse to bring residents home at night due to treacherous conditions. Ambulance crews have also criticised the state of the roads, as they are impacting on their response times, the East Cork municipality were told.
Marie Flavin told the senior executive “its mental torture” to drive the roads in their area.
Almost 8 km of road network is so badly neglected, the road surface has washed away with residents driving on rock and stones.
In 2017 the area was earmarked for a total resurface, but it hasn’t received attention to date, with residents claiming a pothole hasn’t been filled, in over 2 years.
“We must weave back and forth to avoid pot holes and craters, we have to drive in ditches, that are soft and slippery and on the opposite side of the road.” A frustrated Mrs Flavin told the senior area engineer.
She said ambulance crews are “appalled” with the condition of the road.
“We had an ambulance crew come up the road a few weeks ago, to take my mother in law to hospital, and they were appalled with the state of the road.”
Deirdre Flavin who has young children of school going age said “every time you go out on the road you don’t know who is going to be coming on the wrong side against you. The athletic club are avoiding potholes as much as you are avoiding potholes in the car.”
In an unprecedented move Senior Engineer Dave Clarke responded to the delegation ahead of his report to Council on the matter this April.
Mr Clarke said Cork County Council’s roads budget has been running on fumes for years, coupled with a reduction in staffing levels due to government embargos.
He said a one mile section of the road is on the authority’s resurfacing programme this year, while it won’t rectify the situation fully he said it would help to alleviate the problem.
Councillor Mary Linehan Foley who had requested the delegation be heard at this month’s sitting said the road must be treated as a priority.
She said if it can’t receive attention in the coming weeks the council must fill the potholes in the meantime.
“I know its throwing money after money but for these people to travel out of their homes in safety something has to be done ASAP” commented the Youghal based Cllr.
Mr Clarke responded “the intention had been to go down to the Aghavine to Connells cross next.” He said there was an overwhelming argument to have the pot holes filled in the interim if council could not resurface the road in the coming weeks.
All Councillors present at Monday’s sitting spoke of their embarrassment and said they felt the resident’s frustration and anger, however they were restrained by government funding.
€95 million was collected in road tax in Cork County in 2016, yet only €44 million was re-invested in the County’s 12,500 kilometres of road network by government last year.
Municipality Chairwoman Susan McCarthy said “unfortunately the primary and national routes are the ones being looked after first.” She said “there has been a 22% increase in funding for local and regional roads this year but it’s still not enough.”