A notorious north Cork road junction is set to finally shake off the unwanted tag of being 'one of the most dangerous in the country'.
This after it emerged Cork County Council is finally set to submit a planning application with An Bord Pleanála for the upgrading of Ballymacquirke Cross on the N72 between Kanturk and Banteer.
The treacherous junction on the main national route between Mallow and Killarney has been the scene of numerous serious and minor traffic accidents over the years.
Debate has raged at County Council level for years over the need for improved safety measures at the junction, with thousands of people signing a petition calling for action.
Various measures proposed have included improving signage and sight lines, installing traffic calming ramps and at one stage the idea of building flyover at the junction was even mooted.
In March of 2018 council's then director of road services, Tom Stritch, confirmed that following discussions with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) it had been decided that a roundabout at the junction was the preferred option.
In December 2019 it was announced €150,000 had been allocated for the design, planning and land acquisition to accommodate the roundabout and that RoadPlan had been appointed technical advisor to the project.
However, despite hopes than work might get underway on the project last year, the project seemed to have dropped off the radar until this week.
Local county councillor John Paul O'Shea (FG) confirmed to The Corkman that the Cork National Roads Office has submitted a planning application for the project with an accompanying Natura Impact Statement
"This is good news for the local community and motorists alike. There are many people travelling from Kanturk to Banteer, or along the N72 from Mallow to Killarney/Millstreet on a daily basis who have to navigate this extremely dangerous junction. I hope An Bord Pleanála will look upon this upgrade scheme favourably and give it the green light as soon as possible," said Cllr O'Shea.
"We need to keep the momentum going now and get the N72 Ballymacquirke Junction Upgrade Scheme to construction stage at the earliest possible opportunity," he added,