Our Village is located at the intersection of the R618 and the R619 in Co. Cork. Coachford is one of the biggest villages in the region. We are fortunate enough to have a primary and post primary school. We also have two playschools, two hardware stores, a pharmacy, a GP surgery, a Credit Union office, Hairdresser, Petrol station, garage, two small supermarkets (Centra and Gala), a foodstore, a post office, a veterinary clinic, a Pshysiotherapy clinic, three public houses, two fast food restaurants, a church, a graveyard, a funeral home, a grainyard and a number of small to medium enterprises operating from the village and the surrounding area. The village is also home to two GAA pitches and a soccer club.
Coachford is located along the LeeValley and benefits from a huge number of people visiting the nearby Farran Woods and the National Rowing Centre. The village is on the main route from Blarney to Killarney. It is also on the most direct route from ShannonAirport to West Cork.
Our village is used by a large number of vehicles each day travelling from Mallow to Bandon. It is used by commuters to get to work in Ballincollig and the outskirts of Cork City from various parts of North Cork. Our community, our school children, our shoppers, our tourists and the people who pass through our village each day have to endure a three mile section of the R619 which is in an extremely poor condition and is quite dangerous. Articulated Lorries, school buses, agricultural vehicles and cars all use this road. It is appalling. This road is not a small country boreen. It is a regional route linking Mallow and Bandon. It is a road that links the south of our county to the new Hub town of Mallow ( as mentioned in the Spatial Strategy of the Cork County Council Development Plan).
This road has been earmarked for widening and realigning for the last 40 years but nothing has ever been done. Even when this country was awash with money, this section of the R619 was ignored. The Cork County Council have land purchased on both sides of the road in some parts to facilitate the realigning but this has never been progressed. A section of the R619 from Bweeing to Mallow was realigned and resurfaced in the early 2000s and made a huge difference to that area. The section from Tullig to Coachford was passed over and neglected for some reason. The road does not even have road markings.
This regional road is unsafe. I fear that one day a major accident involving a school bus and a truck will occur. I fear for the pedestrians using this section of the road and I fear for the future of our village as less people will be inclined to use this route because of the appalling condition of the road.
We need this road to get the attention it deserves from; the County Council, the councillors and TDs, the Gardai and the Road Safety Authority.
The people who use this road every single day deserve better than having to put up with an appalling surface, acute bends and stretches where two vehicles find it difficult to pass each other. The people who use this road need the authorities to seriously look at improving it and to bring it to the standard the rest of this route enjoys.
The people who use this road have put up with the false promises, the countless reassurances that something will be done and the rhetoric about improving road safety for far too long. The motorists, pedestrians, school children and business people have suffered enough.
The local elections are taking place on May 23rd 2014. Between now and then a number of canditates will be canvassing in the area. Please remind them about the negleted section of the R619. Ask them what they intend to do about it and question why they or their party have negleted it for so long. Make up your mind how to vote when you hear their answer.
The R619 – Coachford deseves better. You deserve better.