A shop owner in Clerihan has claimed that road works scheduled to take place in a couple of weeks time will
isolate the village.
Dean Hand, the owner of the Daybreak store, says the road closures enforced during the work will have a detrimental effect on everybody in Clerihan, including local businesses.
“We cannot afford to just lie down and let this happen. We have to fight it, otherwise there mightn’t be a shop here”, he said. The road in the village and at Darcy’s Cross will be resurfaced over eight days between October 5-23.
Dean Hand claims that diversions put in place at the Cashel Road roundabout in Clonmel; in Rosegreen; the Cahir Road at Barne and at Poulmucka will effectively isolate Clerihan for up to three weeks.
“It seems crazy the way the Council are doing this”. He understood there were health and safety issues involved but there were also issues of business viability within a small rural environment, especially at a quiet time of the year.
“It will affect everybody, including school buses and any sort of community activity”.
He said there was no way of knowing what days the road will be closed so he won’t be able to advise his suppliers what days they should deliver and he couldn’t roster accordingly for the staff.
There was “huge concern” among businesses, which had written to the County Council and were due to meet with local Cllr. Andy Moloney yesterday, Tuesday.
“We appreciate the fact that the roads need to be resurfaced, but in 90% of countries on the continent these works could be carried out in the evening and early in the morning”, said Mr. Hand. “There needn’t be a blanket closure but a diversion is exactly that. Diversions will turn people away but won’t be needed if there’s a stop-go system in place”.
Meanwhile Paddy Crotty, the County Council’s executive engineer in the Clonmel Borough District, said the road would have to be closed completely for two days in the village and a further two days at Darcy’s Cross because the road at both locations wasn’t wide enough to allow traffic pass when the hot rolled ashphalt was being laid.
A stop-go system would be in place on the other four days and local traffic would be facilitated as much as possible. The diversions would be in place for a three-week period because the work could be held up for a week if the weather was bad. If the roads were kept completely open there could be long delays and tailbacks and that would cause frustration among motorists. “Detours will allow the traffic to flow”, said Mr. Crotty.
The council appreciated that people had businesses to run but the road at Darcy’s Cross needed to be resurfaced because there had been a number of accidents there, while the road in the village would be included in the last phase of the enhancement works.
Such work could be carried out at night in a town like Clonmel because you were diverting traffic onto roads that were lit, said Mr. Crotty. But in a village like Clerihan you would be sending traffic onto roads that weren’t lit and routes that motorists wouldn’t be familiar with, he said. “It’s the nature of rural work that it cannot be done at night”, Mr. Crotty added.