Castletownbere Transportation Study

This page has been set-up by Castletownbere Development Association (CDA) to keep the community informed on the progress of the Proposed Transportation Study for Castletownbere, which is currently being prepared by AECOM (Nominated Engineers) for Cork County Council.

Below you will find links & information that has been presented to the public over the course of this project. The CDA will endeavour to keep this page updated with any all information that becomes available, so please check back regularly.

The information is in chronological order from Commencement of the Study to Present Day.


First Public Consultation;

A public information evening hosted by Cork County Council & their Nominated Engineers, ‘AECOM’, was held in Castletownbere on the evening of, Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 to inform the community of their intention to prepare a Transportation Study for Castletownbere. 

The purpose of this public consultation was to listen to anybody who lives, works, shops, goes to school and uses the town in order to understand the current issues and obtain any and all views on potential solutions.

Representatives of Cork County Council and 'AECOM' were in attendance at the public consultation exhibition.
Stakeholder meetings were also held on Wednesday 12th & Thursday 13th October 2016.

Members of the Community were asked to make submissions or observations with their views on:

  • The Current traffic conditions in Castletownbere!
  • What should be improved?
  • What are the problem junctions?
  • How to support a vibrant town centre?
  • How to create a more efficient transport network?

Submissions or observations in electronic format were to be e-mailed to: eoin.omahony@aecom.com before Friday 11th November 2016 or delivered to:

Castletownbere Transport Study,
c/o Eoin O’Mahony,
AECOM
Douglas Business Centre,
Carrigaline Road,
Douglas,
Co. Cork.


A copy of the 1st Round Public Consultation Report including copies of the submissions received by 'AECOM' can be found in  Appendix A (Pages 83-113) of  the Castletownbere Transportation Study Draft Final Report for Second Round Public Consultation 

Second Public Consultation;

The Second Public Consultation event was hosted by Cork County Council & ‘AECOM’, in Castletownbere on, Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 to present their Draft Transportation Report & Plans to the community of Castletownbere.

These Draft Plans & Reports can be viewed on the Cork County Council website at the link below;
https://www.corkcoco.ie/traffic-transport/transportation-studies-progress

The members of the Community are encouraged to make a submission to provide feedback on the study and give your views on the following headings;

  1. Car Parking Strategy;
  2. Roads & Streets Strategy;
  3. Walking & Cycling Strategy;
  4. Public Realm Proposals;
  5. Junction Improvements;

Submissions are invited from interested parties and can be made by e-mail to: eoin.omahony@aecom.com 

or posted to:
Eoin O’Mahony,
AECOM,
1st Floor, Montrose House,
Douglas Business Centre,
Carrigaline Road,
Douglas,
Co. Cork T12 P088 

The closing date for submissions is Friday, 25th May, 2018


CDA Erect Copy of Draft Plan

The CDA have erected copies of the Draft Castletownbere Transportation Study which were presented at the Public Exhibition by AECOM & Cork County Council recently in The Beara Coast Hotel.
We hope that this will enable those who may not have access to the internet to view the proposals at their own time on the railings outside of St. Peter's Church.
The full draft report is over 200 pages so unfortunately we can't laminated all that, but it can be found at the link below;
https://www.corkcoco.ie/traffic-transport/transportation-studies-progress
This Exhibit will remain in place until Friday, May 25th 2018.

CDA Facilitate Public Information Meeting

A Public Information Meeting was held in the Function Room of The Beara Coast Hotel on, Thursday 26th April, 2018 at 7pm.
This meeting was facilitated by the Castletownbere Development Association, for the purpose of a discussion with anybody who lives, works, shops, goes to school and uses the town, in order to understand the communities’ position on the recently published Draft Castletownbere Transportation Study and to obtain any and all views on this plan, so that an overall submission can be prepared that reflects the views of the Town as a whole.

Copies of the Transportation Study Report & Plans were made available to view on the night for anyone that may not have had an opportunity to visit Cork County Council's Public Consultation Exhibition or for those who do not have access to the internet to view the documents online on the Cork County Council Website.

Information & assistance was also provided on how to make an individual submission about the plan, either from the perspective of a Business Owner, a Resident or a User of the town, including the full postal details for returning submissions to AECOM before the Friday, May 25th, 2018 Deadline

Members of the CDA were on hand following the meeting to assist members of the community in either writing, typing or formatting your submissions and provided help with sending emails or a stamped, addressed envelope to ensure that all submissions to AECOM reach their offices prior to the Deadline.

Minutes of the Public Information Meeting;

Minutes from Castletownbere Transportation Study – Public Information Meeting

Hosted By:         Castletownbere Development Association
Date:                     Thursday, April 26th at 7pm
Venue:                  The Beara Coast Hotel
Attendance:       Approx. 140 people, including; T.D. Michael Collins, Cllr. Danny Collins, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy,
Apologies:           Diarmuid O’Donovan, Cllr. Paul Hayes, Cllr. Mary Hegarty,


Chairperson, Cian Murphy, gave his opening address, during which he stressed that the CDA was holding this meeting in order to give all concerned parties a chance to have their views and opinions heard on the town Draft Plan and Report by Cork County Council and AECOM, and to ensure that they all have the opportunity and means to make a submission to Cork County Council.


He then handed over to the CDA’s PRO, John Galvin. John introduced himself and explained his background in engineering. He then went on to give a detailed report and run through of the Draft Plan and Reports, prepared by Cork County Council and AECOM. He gave a presentation on the big screen for all in the room to see, and condensed the over 200 page report into easy topics and points to clarify the main issues and topics for all in attendance.

5 main topics identified in the report were:  Car Parking Strategy; Roads & Streets Strategy; Walking & Cycling Strategy; Public Realm Proposals; & Junction Improvements.

After this presentation on the Draft Plan, the details of which can all be found on Cork County Council’s website, he handed back to the Chairperson, Cian who reiterated that this is a DRAFT PLAN and is not set in stone yet.


Cian then handed over to the CDA’s Secretary, Mark Golden, who presented the minutes of a recent meeting of the local “Parking Committee,” a sub group of the CDA.

These are as follows;

Traffic Management Plan Meeting on 11/04/2018

Present were; Cian Murphy, John Galvin, Brian Murphy, Chris Downey, Sean Cronin, Noel Forde, John Murphy, Killian Martin Sullivan, Paul Harrington, Darren Lynch.

It was agreed that we would discuss the AECOM / Cork County Council draft plan from West to East and highlight any areas for improvement that we could see.

West End:
No parking from tea rooms to playground – deliveries/customer parking for Cronin’s & Wisemans. Residential parking in this area?
Suggest relocating playground so parking can be provided. Parallel parking should also be provided on Wiseman’s hill on one side.

Council Yard to Breen’s Corner:
Suggest parking on south side of road continuously – maximize parking is the key. Remove kink in road @ courtyard property. Cannot be parking at James Batts (Petrol Station) need area for customers and deliveries. Rise up pedestrian crossing to create ramp.

The Square:
Suggest maximizing parking – maintaining status quo of parking for 50 cars a must. Can amenity space be reduced in size or removed to somewhere else eg. Pier area. Space for casual trading? Location of Fire brigade station an issue. Note O’ Donoghue’s Garage & Car Wash – It is a must that business’s are not negatively affected in this area. Also suggest changing traffic flow on Barracks St. from East to West.

Main Street:
Suggest maximizing parking – current level of parking to be maintained & leave existing footpaths. Businesses here have customers and deliveries which must be taken into account. Residents in this area must have ability to get home heating oil etc.

East End:
Suggest reclaiming sea to the east of the ferry slip for parking. If we are serious about our town and wish to future proof scrap carparks @ north road & bridewell. Put carpark where the need is paramount. Otherwise ensure that the current parking level of 50 cars is maintained. This area is used by Bere Island Ferries, RNLI, SuperValu, Harringtons Funeral Home, Church, National School & various other businesses and residents.

Other points to Note:
(1) Parking needed @ vets premises on north road
(2) Rear loading access for Harringtons @ pier side
(3) Only 1 coach space on plan
(4) It is very important that a sensitive approach is taken with residents and landowners being affected by this plan.


After this information was presented, the Chairperson opened the floor for discussion.

A speaker raised the ongoing issue of school busses for Castletownbere National School dropping children off at the North Road, where the children then, some as young as four, have to walk unsupervised up a busy stretch of road to the school.   It seemed ridiculous to him that millions of Euro be spent on a new town plan, and yet still no improvement be proposed to this issue. The school’s Principal was in attendance and replied that this issue had been ongoing for 19 years; the busses physically cannot take a particular turn to the school unless a (disused) house is removed.

Next Brian Murphy spoke and thanked the CDA for holding this meeting. Brian spoke of a new group of local concerned residents and business owners which he had set up. Their main concern was that Cork County Council would not pay any attention to their submissions, no matter how many are made. Brian spoke of Bantry and Clonakilty as examples of towns where new traffic plans were forced through despite objections, resulting in the closure of several businesses.

Cian stated that his response would be to exhaust the submissions process provided by Cork County Council first, and see what the outcome of that was before declaring a direct rejection of the Draft Plan.

Next a speaker asked if Irish Water were going to begin works through the town before the provision of a relief road or alternative route was put in place. Cian replied that Irish Water is holding their own public information evening next Tuesday 1st May here in The Beara Coast Hotel where such queries could be presented.

Mark Golden then spoke of his previous experience of Irish Water where he used to live in Youghal, urging every interested party to keep an eye on local newspapers for a notice from them, because they tend to begin works with very little notice.

Andrew Lyne then addressed the floor, again thanking the CDA first. He was representing his mother, whose field at the eastern end of town is proposed as a site for a new car park on the Draft Plan. It was his opinion that the Council and AECOM’s public consultations were farcical, and cynically suggested that there was a deliberate lack of information made available. He had tried to communicate with AECOM and got unsatisfactory replies. Carmel Fitzgerald also described her experiences of being treated without due sensitivity.

Sean Donegan, a member of same concerned residents group as Brian Murphy, released a statement from said group. The main objections of this group are: Reduction of parking in the Square and on Main Street; newly proposed “public realm and Garden Street” far too big; Widening of footpaths in many areas unnecessary; Parking restrictions/limits unfair; Flow of traffic must continue to be brought through the town to encourage visitors.

A speaker gave his opinion that the Fire Brigade should not be coming out on to a one-way street as is proposed in the Draft Plan, and at least the flow of traffic around the Square should be maintained.

Pat Murphy spoke about the Wild Atlantic Way, and the money which had been spent developing it. His opinion was that we need a town which will attract tourism. At the moment to level of traffic and congestion is far too high, and a relief road would be badly needed especially in the case of emergencies, and for emergency service vehicles.

Sandra O’Shea said that firstly, from a business point of view, as a taxi driver she probably travels up and down town the most times a day of any of us, and she agreed with Pat Murphy’s points on emergency services. After school, traffic takes 40 minutes to get through town, an ambulance would have no chance. She also stressed that people working in premises on the Square should not be parking in the Square all day. Secondly, from a personal point of view, it was her opinion that the playground be moved to a new site, it is right beside a busy road. She said there was nothing for the concerns of families with children in the Draft Plan.

Ella Harrington said her opinion was that the proposed pedestrianising of the Square was unnecessarily big. She also said the west end of town had been forgotten and it would be great to see some new developments up there.

Sarah O’Connor asked can the playground be moved to St. Peter’s grounds and Cian responded by saying that the feasibility study was still ongoing.

Dave Spathaky queried the possibility of a relief road to the north of the town and Cian and John explained that that road was still on the Local Area Development Plan and that the land is zoned for development.

Christopher Downey reiterated the worry is that our voice will not be listened to, and called upon the public representatives present to comment on this.

Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy, firstly apologised to local landowners who had not been treated with due respect and sensitivity by Cork County Council and AECOM. He assured the floor that their submissions would be taken into very serious consideration. Deadline has been extended.  He explained that the process at the end of the day is that the Plan will be voted for yes or no by the sitting Councillors. Then, pending a yes vote, the Council must effectively apply to itself for planning permission, whereupon objections can again be made at that stage also.

Cllr. Danny Collins, reiterated Patrick Gerard’s words that submissions would be taken on board. He urged everyone in attendance to make a submission with their thoughts, opinions and ideas, be they good or bad. He said that the town does not belong to AECOM, but us here in attendance.

T.D. Michael Collins, spoke of his experiences in Schull where a town plan had to be stopped. It was his opinion that the Castletownbere Plan had some good and bad points, but it needed a lot of work, and that the people had not been given proper opportunity to voice their concerns. He promised to do his utmost to ensure the submissions are given proper consideration and would organise to have another public consultation be held in Castletownbere where people can get answers to their concerns.

John Wiseman, spoke of a previous plan years ago to extend the “back road.” He stated that the junction near the Tea Rooms at the moment was deadly dangerous and unsuitable.

Patrick Lyne said that if our submissions have to be justified and properly reasoned out, then AECOM’s decisions and plans should be too.

Postmaster, Noel Harrington, stated that doing nothing is not an option. The town as it stands is a serious accident waiting to happen with the volume of traffic coming through.

Caroline Lynch, spoke of her experience of dealing with AECOM alongside Co-Action to be a reasonable one. Rodney O’Sullivan also mentioned Co-Action and said that we must consider our wheelchair users, our blind and disabled residents.

Catherine Collins, spoke about the pedestrian crossing outside her business. It hasn’t functioned correctly since it was installed and she would be lobbying to have it fixed ASAP. Cllr. Danny Collins replied to this, saying that he had already plans to bring up this issue at his next Council meeting.

Noel Forde, spoke on submissions, saying they can be made on a business and a personal level. Touching on an earlier point made by Brian Murphy about Clonakilty, he said that reports showed that only 38 submissions were made in that instance, and based on the general feeling at this meeting, he was sure that more than 38 would be made by Castletownbere.

Aaron Byrne reiterated this, saying that the importance to make a submission was clear.

To conclude, John Galvin, informed everyone that there were forms, envelopes, stamps, laptops available after the meeting, and help and advice on offer to anyone who wished to view the Draft Plan and make a submission.

Chairperson, Cian Murphy gave his closing thanks and after a rousing round of applause, the meeting concluded at 9pm.


The Following are links to Download Documents which will assist in making submissions to AECOM, before the May, 25th 2018 Deadline

Submission_to_AECOM.pdf
Sample_Letter_to_AECOM.doc
AECOM_Contact_Information.pdf
AECOM_Envelope.doc