Proposed €220m N28 upgrade will not provide proper connectivity, say residents

Council and TII accused of opting for the cheapest option which will not provide a linkage between the port and Cork Airport

The proposed €220 million upgrade of the existing N28 from Cork to Ringaskiddy to a motorway will create a port motorway but will fail to provide either strategic connectivity to Cork Airport or a proper linkage to the existing N40 Southern Ring Road around Cork, an oral hearing has been told. Photograph: iStock

The proposed €220 million upgrade of the existing N28 from Cork to Ringaskiddy to a motorway will create a port motorway but will fail to provide either strategic connectivity to Cork Airport or a proper linkage to the existing N40 Southern Ring Road around Cork, an oral hearing has been told. Photograph: iStock

 

The proposed €220 million upgrade of the existing N28 from Cork to Ringaskiddy to a motorway will create a port motorway but will fail to provide either strategic connectivity to Cork Airport or a proper linkage to the existing N40 Southern Ring Road around Cork, an oral hearing has been told.

Gerard Harrington of the M28 Steering Group, which represents residents in Rochestown and Douglas, told the An Bord Pleanala hearing that Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland had opted for the cheapest solution when deciding to upgrade the existing N28.

Mr Harrington said the Port of Cork needs the road to be brought up to Trans European Transport Network standard and the proposal to upgrade the existing N28 to motorway standard for 12.5kms of its length was aimed at meeting planning requirements for the port’s move to Ringaskiddy.

“The M28 proposal is a Port Motorway and nothing else,” said Mr Harrington, adding that it failed to provide a link to current and future planned infrastructural projects such as the redevelopment of the 40 acre industrial park at Cork Airport or the existing N40 Southern Ring Road.

“There is no connectivity either to the airport at Ballycurreen/Airport Road or the Bandon Road Roundabout (on the N40) as it was deemed too expensive - simply put this is the cheapest option under the guise of Strategic Infrastructure Development,” he said.

Mr Harrington pointed out that Cork County Council Assistant CEO Declan Daly stated as recently as October 25th 2017 that there was a need to look at developing a new road to the Airport from the Sarsfield Road Roundabout near Bishopstown on the western end of the N40 South Ring Road.

Instead Cork County Council and TII had opted for the cheapest solution to improving connectivity to Ringaskiddy port by utilising the existing or online section of the N28 from Carr’s Hill to the Bloomfield Interchange on the N40 which was recognised as the most problematic part of the plan.

Upgrading this section of the N28 to motorway standard will involve a widening of the existing road which will have a major impact on residents in Rochestown, Mount Oval, Maryborough and surrounding areas who will “have their way of life destroyed forever,” he said.

Mr Harrington questioned why the on-line section from Carr’s Hill to Bloomfield was chosen in circumstances where there were already confirmed issues regarding noise pollution and deforestation and where there will be adverse health consequences for residents.

“The decision was taken to use agricultural land for 85 per cent of its route option and then use the on-line section and widen it - tear down trees, take away local amenity areas, build a new bridge over people’s homes so as to comply with motorway standards - there is no justification for this.”

Mr Harrington said that those promoting the project had failed to properly analyse the impact of the proposal on traffic flows particularly in relation to local roads serving Passage West, Monkstown and Upper Rochestown.

He said it will lead to an increase in local traffic and will lead to the inevitable routing of traffic from the greater Carrigaline and Douglas areas which will see major increases in local area traffic particularly on Maryborough Hill just outside Douglas village, he said.