Dangerous N72 bend is 'a tragedy waiting to happen'
"A TRAGEDY waiting to happen".
That was how Junior Minister Sean Sherlock described a dangerous bend on the N72 Mallow to Fermoy road, which he said in danger of becoming a serious accident blackspot.
Deputy Sherlock said the bend at Kilcanway is situated at the end of one of the newly refurbished stretches of the N72, which was reopened last year after undergoing major remedial work.
For many years Deputy Sherlock had campaigned for a major plan of works along the N72, once described as one of the most dangerous roads in Ireland, pointing out that it been neglected for decades.
The works involved the realignment and resurfacing of large stretches of the road.
While welcome, the project did serve to highlight the fact that parts of the road are still in need of major refurbishment.
"The problem is that motorists who do not know the road are driving along the new stretches and then with little warning find themselves back on the old road surface," he said.
Deputy Sherlock said the dangers associated with this are no more apparent than at Kilcanway, where the newly resurfaced section narrows down into a sharp bend that leads into an old stretch of road.
"Motorists travelling from the Mallow direction are on top of the bend before they know what is happening," said Deputy Sherlock.
"I visited the bend myself this week and saw a number of cars and lorries dive onto a piece of waste ground next to the road as they attempted to negotiate the sharp bend," he added.
Local resident Patrick Howard pointed out that even before the roadworks two people had lost their lives at the bend.
"Since the N72 reopened there have been at least 20 incidents involving traffic at Kilcanway," said Mr Howard.
Deputy Sherlock has called on Cork County Council and the National Roads Authority to address the problem.
"As locals have pointed out, there have been a lot of incidents there in what has been a relatively short space of time. I am afraid this is a tragedy waiting to happen," said the Mallow based Minister.
"It is clear even from a layman's perspective that the roadworks carried out on the N72 are causing problems at Kilcanway. There is a genuine fear that a serious accident will happen there unless urgent action is taken," he added.
Deputy Sherlock said it was his understanding the various incidents that had happened along the stretch had been recorded with the Road Safety Authority via a GPS locator.
"An engineer's report should be carried out into the bend based on these incidents," he said.
"I have spoken with the RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdoch and written to the authority in order to impress upon them the urgency of addressing this problem which lets not forget is on a major national secondary route," he added.