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Push needed to get funding for Mallow relief road

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Cllr James Kennedy (Lab).

Cllr James Kennedy (Lab).

Cllr James Kennedy (Lab).

The return of some kind of normality following the partial lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions is also likely to herald the return of the traffic congestion that has blighted Mallow town centre for years.

That's according to local Labour county councillor James Kennedy, who has said the return of traffic jams to the town will be the clearest indication yet of the dire need for the proposed Mallow Relief Road.

"The welcome washing of streets, widening of footpaths and local authority repainting scheme will of limited value if large trucks and lorries continue to trundle down the streets of Mallow, choking the life out of hard pressed businesses and the long suffering public," said Cllr Kennedy.

Last December, Cork County Council put pen to paper on a contract for the preparatory phase of the multi-million project that will incorporate design, environmental reports and compulsory purchase orders prior to the lodging of a planning application with An Bord Pleanála.

Cllr Kennedy said it was his understanding was that the project was "moving ahead apace" with work set to commence shortly on the next phase of revised traffic surveys and remodelling.

"It is hoped this will be completed sometime during the autumn, at which stage increased funding would be needed to move it on to the final planning and construction stages," said Cllr Kennedy.

"At this critical stage of proceedings it is vital that all stakeholders and political parties come together to ensure, regardless of the make up of the next government, that this project, which has been stalled for so long, moves on to its final stages."

With this in mind, he and Deputy Séan Sherlock have penned a joint letter to Labour party leader Alan Kelly emphasising the economic and social benefits the relief road would b ring to Mallow and its hinterlands.

"In this respect, I call on all Mallow councillors to canvas their own party leaders to do the same. I cannot emphasise strongly enough the necessity for all interest groups to come together and work in tandem. As a former chief executive of Bord Fáilte once said, and I paraphrase, it is the towns where all interest groups work together that succeed," said Cllr Kennedy.

"Where towns are divided, and not working for the greater interests of the town, failure is sure to follow. The over-arching objective must be to increase footfall in the town that will benefit all businesses."

Corkman