Controversial new bus stop in Fermoy set to stay
The controversial new bus stop on the Cork Road in Fermoy is there to stay, The Avondhu was told this week. Cork County Council's senior executive engineer for the area, Brendan O'Gorman clarified the matter, advising that the location was agreed by the Gardai, Cork County Council, Bus Eireann and the Traffic Management Sub Committee of Fermoy Town Council.
The markings were authorised and paid for by his office of Cork County Council, he disclosed. Additional 'altered road layout' signage and 'keep right' bollards were installed there this week.
The engineer stressed that the site is the agreed location by all parties. He pointed to the long standing difficulties at the existing location as the reason for the request that the bus stop be moved. Gardai will continue to monitor the area to ensure motorists do not drive on the installed hatched road markings, he said.
LOCATED "ON THE STRAIGHT"
The chairman of the Traffic Management Sub Committee, Michael Hanley, was emphatic and forceful on the matter this week, saying that they'd researched options before deciding on the new location. He agreed with the engineer's contention that it was decided on by all parties. In fact, he said, it was felt that if it was moved up a bit on the road it would be better and that was done. It hasn't been placed on a bend of the road, he insisted, "It's on the straight."
Councillor Hanley said he would have one small concern and that is that there would be "a pinch point", but that is going to be addressed. Other than that, he said, there is "plenty of room for three lanes." Outlining concerns about traffic, especially large trucks, entering the town from the Cork Road having to travel down the sweeping left hand bend to the main street, past Gaelscoil de hÍde and saying he feared what might happen if a lorry lost its brakes at that point, he even went as far as to say the new bus stop location would have the added benefit of slowing traffic down.
He also ruled out moving the bus stop to where the bus shelter is, saying the public had "point blank refused" to use that stop.
Mayor Olive Corcoran told The Avondhu this week of her clear recollection of telling town council members that if they were going to change the bus stop, they had to make sure they were putting it in a better place.
Councillor Noel McCarthy said his original comments still stand, that it was: "The right decision, the wrong location." He said he hadn't known it would be moved to that particular spot. He pointed out that he'd been absent due to a prior engagement from the March 5th traffic management subcommittee meeting at which, the minutes reflect, the matter was agreed.
Locals were still of the opinion this week that the new location is dangerous and discussion on the issue rumbled on, with considerable comment continuing on social media. The consensus is that it is "a disaster" and should be removed. One woman, who lives right across the road from the new stop, told The Avondhu she couldn't believe it when she saw the markings going in. She absolutely believes it is ill-thought out and dangerous.
She also said she observed this week, while the demarcation bollards were being installed, a truck coming out over the white line to get past. She believes it'll be too tight for two trucks to pass when there's a bus stopped there. She pointed out that owners of cars who were in the habit of parking half up on the footpath and half on the road previously while going to Mass, had been stopped from doing so. If the Gardai deemed it unsafe or illegal for such traffic to park there why were they allowing a bus to stop to take on and let passengers alight several times a day?
Another local resident said it would take a crash to make officials see sense. "I don't want to see anyone hurt but I think it's an accident waiting to happen leaving it like that," he remarked.
Another member of the public, Joe Tobin, who spoke out last week saying the new location is dangerous, questioned this week why there was no public consultation before the bus stop was moved. "In my view it was a bad decision and is a bad location."
Friday 4th April 11:46am