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N71 - Cork to Bandon

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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    The N71 from The Viaduct to Skibbereen could do with being HQDC the entire way.

    I don't think it warrants becoming the M71 though.

    As for Jim Daly, i can't say i hear very much of him in the media in general bar bits and pieces here and there.

    While of course pavements are of importance, i would have been of the impression that the bad bend between Inishannon and Bandon by 'the chipper van' would have been a higher priority.

    Now, i am no engineer by no means,but is straightening that stretch of road to go over rather than beside the river even possible by way of a bridge of some sort?

    I recall the works done on the N22 some years ago to at least improve the road and bad bends between Macroom and Ballymakeera/Ballyvourney.

    While those bends still aren't great, they are an improvement.

    Traffic levels on the N71 are approx 3x the levels around Ballyvourney. They are on par with the N28 which is being upgraded to motorway. If a full appraisal of an N71 upgrade was done it would recommend motorway to at least Halfway if not Inishannon. From there to Clonakilty has traffic levels for 2+2.

    It's hard to believe for a national secondary how bad the N71 is. Realignments and bend improvements won't solve much unfortunately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 207 ✭✭ Heartbreak Hank


    marno21 wrote: »
    Traffic levels on the N71 are approx 3x the levels around Ballyvourney. They are on par with the N28 which is being upgraded to motorway. If a full appraisal of an N71 upgrade was done it would recommend motorway to at least Halfway if not Inishannon. From there to Clonakilty has traffic levels for 2+2.

    And I would think that a decent number of people who use other routes to West Cork would use the N71 if it was upgraded. The other routes, e.g. Crookstown to Dunmanway, are fairly twisty and narrow.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    And I would think that a decent number of people who use other routes to West Cork would use the N71 if it was upgraded. The other routes, e.g. Crookstown to Dunmanway, are fairly twisty and narrow.

    Yeah, had to go to Durrus and Bantry on many occasions via Crookstown and Beal Na Blath.

    Not fun by no means and highly dangerous.


  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭ Halycon


    Does anyone know when road resurfacing is going to take place in Bandon between The Glasslyn road roundabout and the Topaz?

    I recognise that the flood works are ongoing for the next year, but the road surface is in an undriveable condition at the moment.

    Could the contractor not be instructed to undergo some mitigation measures in the interim?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    https://www.thecork.ie/2018/06/03/e4-million-for-ballydehob-to-bantry-n71-daly/

    €4m on resurfacing one of the quieter parts of the N71 from Ballydehob to Bantry. Most Bantry-Skibb traffic doesn't use this but instead takes the faster route via the R586

    Still no progress whatsoever on upgrading any of the busy parts between Cork and Skibbereen especially the section between the N40 and Rosscarbery which is operating above 120% of capacity.


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    The single carriageway- N71 east of Halfway is now carrying traffic volumes above the capacity of a Type 2 dual carraigeway (2+2).

    If a scheme were activated on the N71 tomorrow, it would be built as minimum HQDC standard, with possible motorway restrictions.

    No plans for an upgrade at present.


  • Registered Users Posts: 560 ✭✭✭ Aontachtoir


    marno21 wrote: »
    The single carriageway- N71 east of Halfway is now carrying traffic volumes above the capacity of a Type 2 dual carraigeway (2+2).

    If a scheme were activated on the N71 tomorrow, it would be built as minimum HQDC standard, with possible motorway restrictions.

    No plans for an upgrade at present.
    Odd that it has been so completely overlooked. Maybe the relative lack of accidents on the road as it is?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    I guess its a reasonably decent quality S2 with at least a small bit of lazy grade seperation and a low accident rate. No bottlenecks as it bypasses halfway apart from the roundabout. No pressing need apart from traffic levels.

    Thing is, if you ask anyone "what roads do you want upgraded right now" it'd be hard to find many people who would say "N71".


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Odd that it has been so completely overlooked. Maybe the relative lack of accidents on the road as it is?

    Most equivilant road needs in Cork have also been overlooked (North Ring, Midleton-Youghal, Macroom-Ovens and until last year Blarney-Mallow)
    I guess its a reasonably decent quality S2 with at least a small bit of lazy grade seperation and a low accident rate. No bottlenecks as it bypasses halfway apart from the roundabout. No pressing need apart from traffic levels.

    Thing is, if you ask anyone "what roads do you want upgraded right now" it'd be hard to find many people who would say "N71".

    Bottlenecks beyond Halfway alright, Inishannon, Bandon and Clonakilty

    There is a lot of people complaining about the N71 but it's mainly the parts beyond Halfway, the towns and the sections between them


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,553 Cork Trucker


    marno21 wrote: »
    https://www.thecork.ie/2017/12/09/west-cork-further-investment-for-n71-but-timelines-need-to-be-improved-daly/

    Daly needs to stick the boot in here and realise that pavement is not sufficient for the N71 anymore. The N71 all the way from Cork to Rosscarbery is overcapacity and there is 0km of improvements planned this side of 2021 at present which will soon be 2028.

    Daly is bloody useless, nothing but spin from him.

    Not only is it over capacity but the road surface is bloody awful, worse than your typical Irish road surface.

    From a bikers perspective it is worse again when you see the 'scarring' on the roads, where the 2 surfaces are joined but not sealed leaving an uneven line.

    Just after Finbarr Galvin on the Clonakilty road is also in very poor condition, Ballinascarthy likewise. I can't say many positive things about the general area.

    Leap, I won't even go there :rolleyes:


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  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    https://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2019-04-09a.5&s=n71#g72

    Talking about trains is a distraction from the real issue and real solution here. The only solution is an upgraded N71 & R586 - which needs to be raised as an issue locally. Buses will greatly benefit if these two roads are upgraded. Trains are gone - and not returning. A motorway from Cork to Inishannon and 2+2 beyond is what is needed.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    A few lads out with paint along the Halfway-Cork section recently and the northbound climbing lane is now 800m or so shorter, a substantial gap between the 2 lanes of the climbing lane and the “dual carriageway” section.

    Still no long term plans for this section carrying almost 30,000 cars daily


  • Registered Users Posts: 667 ✭✭✭ BelfastVanMan


    Has this ridiculous retrograde step been taken in the name of safety, or what?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,553 Cork Trucker


    marno21 wrote: »
    A few lads out with paint along the Halfway-Cork section recently and the northbound climbing lane is now 800m or so shorter, a substantial gap between the 2 lanes of the climbing lane and the “dual carriageway” section.

    Still no long term plans for this section carrying almost 30,000 cars daily

    While an M71 should be the ultimate goal what is feasible in the next 20 years?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    While an M71 should be the ultimate goal what is feasible in the next 20 years?
    Resurfacing, line painting and no right turn signs would be my realistic guess.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,553 Cork Trucker


    marno21 wrote: »
    Resurfacing, line painting and no right turn signs would be my realistic guess.

    Feck sake, that could be done on any given day of the week.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    N71 is up the wall into Inishannon, Bandon and Clonakilty at the minute to no surprise. Traffic levels are getting back to normal and all the staycationers are adding to the volume.

    Should the boom in domestic tourism this summer lead to a long term revival of interest in travel to West Cork the N71 will continue to be under sustained pressure. And that’s just the added traffic. Things are bad enough at most times.

    There really needs to be an integrated plan for travel into West Cork. Catering to the needs of buses, freight, cyclists and pedestrians, along with the large volume of cars. A proper West Cork Expressway (like the A55 in North Wales - one quality route to cater for traffic) would also help with the rat running and the local roads being overwhelmed with traffic

    Sadly, such a plan is beyond the ambition levels at present. It’s quite a pity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    It is, desperately, but to a lot of what I would consider "West" West Cork, eg: Beara Peninsula, the N22, Loo Bridge, down to Kenmare is a decent option. For other routes, N22, Beal na Blath, Cousane Gap and down to Bantry is a far better drive.

    Not a solution, but mitigation in the short term.

    Edit: The Bandon Road Roundabout will be a riot this evening when everyone comes home. Staycationers are one thing, tourists Stay, but people Daytrip, so the same number of "visitors" in west Cork this year will generate a lot more trips by car.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    ...and while I'm giving out, Kinsale urgently needs a relief road, including another bridge.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,206 ✭✭✭ hans aus dtschl


    Yep there's very high traffic levels down west at the moment.

    I suspect the reason there's no major infrastructural investment going in, is because it's considered "quaint", "scenic", "authentic" and "touristy" to have terrible infrastructure. If the government were serious about the likes of Bandon, Clon, Skib, Bantry, etc actually functioning as real living towns the infrastructure would at least be under discussion.
    I believe it actually detracts from their ability to cater for tourists tbh.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭✭ Covidhaveago


    ...and while I'm giving out, Kinsale urgently needs a relief road, including another bridge.

    Stuck in traffic for a while between the bridge and town this weekend Chris?

    Kinsale was relatively blessed roads spending wise in the late-ish 20th century with a new bridge and big upgrade to the R600 between Kinsale environs and Belgooly (as well as the N27 from Airport to KRR). Thank you EU money.

    But nothing since bar a lovely rebuild of a couple of KMs of the R600 south of five mile in the last decade or so.

    R600 has a high volume of commuter and WAW traffic.

    An alternative would be be the mooted upgrade of the N71 along with piecemeal upgrades of the R607. R607 has some nice long straight stretches in parts but, like the R600, difficult terrain closer to Kinsale.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    1.6km of resurfacing of the N71 leaving Bandon this summer. The current road is akin to the surface of the moon.

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40301498.html

    Starting this in July is awful though. Right in the middle of peak summer season.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Horrible twisty bit of road that... its great fun to drive in a good car, but its fast and bendy and there have been many, many accidents over the years.

    West Cork will now be Cork - Crookstown - Bantry. Clonakilty etc will now be Cork - Kinsale - Ballinspittle - Clonakilty. No way am I going to fight that traffic.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,160 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Not sure how much this will even do tbh. It'll remove the bottleneck at the Kilbrittain Road/R603 junction but it'll still end in the town on the eastern end and the existing Relief Road is developed and way over capacity.

    Hard to see anything meaningful being done with the N71 anytime soon. The media have been reporting on pie in the sky submissions to the Rail Review to reopen the West Cork Railway but railways will not solve West Cork's traffic issues. A 2+2 from Cork to Clon with clever bus integration and facilities would do wonders instead.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Yup. 2+2 at least to the far side of Clon would be needed now, I reckon.


    But what to do about the mess by the Bandon Road roundabout? Thats not an easy fix and would need some form of grade separation. If you go west to a bigger junction on the Ballincollig bypass, you end up with an unpleasant weaving section or a Dunkettle Mark 2 where the N71 would meet the (old) proposed end for the North Ring West, if that ever happens. It's not an easy fix, but a plan for 2+2 should be put in place like now.


    Still Cork to Bantry is much quicker via the Coosane Gap.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,978 ✭✭✭ AugustusMinimus


    There isn’t any space to do much more with the Bandon Road Roundabout sadly.

    I think you’d have to go far west and have a new road branching off the N22 past Ovens given the hilly terrain.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,206 ✭✭✭ hans aus dtschl


    West Cork Railway is dreamland stuff IMO. A greenway will happen I'd say, alright.

    Bandon relief road is way too developed. Would a 2+2 from Halfway through the valley by Crossbarry and coming out by Kilcolman make sense? The Halfway side could eventually link up Northwards to the N40 via Ballinora instead of via the Viaduct, and tie into an M40 North.

    Would be nice to see any Cork light rail or rapid bus network have a major terminus out there too, with a major distribution hub trying to get long-distance commuters out of the car before the enter the city proper. I know people in Skib, Clon and Schull commuting daily. Rather them than me!



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,797 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    I hope a Greenway does happen... open the Chetwynd viaduct and Goggins Hill tunnel, as well as the Halfway viaduct and you've got a greenway that'll rival the best out there at the moment.

    That said, a light rail style solution to Bandon would be nice, but likely dreamland stuff.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Look at a railway map of comparable countries such as Scotland or Denmark and you'd despair at what we did to ourselves here. Fair play to the West Cork Railway campaign. It's at least highlighted the issue and long term, what is the green solution if the population continues to increase along this corridor? There's no political appetite for building anymore motorways with EU fines breathing down our necks. We'll get the M20 and that'll be it.

    People are craving an alternative to the car commute. It's a sign of how much the mindset has changed, but anyone campaigning for a motorway or dual carriageway to West Cork, certainly anywhere west of Brandon, is wasting their time. It's not happening, with or without the Greens in government, it's a non-runner. Time to start reopening the most viable of the closed railways. West Cork is 1 of them, with less spurs and perhaps abandoning some of the offshoots. There are cheap EIB loans and EU enthusiasm for it.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,040 ✭✭✭✭ Cookiemunster


    What EU fines? Within a decade the majority of vehicles on our roads will be emission free. Outside of the Greens there's plenty of political appitite to finish the network.

    And reopening 19th century rail alignments isn't an answer to modern commuting either. I highly doubt that the Danes are pottering along slow twisty 150 year old alignments on their daily commutes. If the EU money is there as you say, then you build new or people will stay in their cars.



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