24 August 2017
By Bryan Smyth
The Green Party in Cork has joined criticism of Cork County Council’s decision to grant permission to build a new Lidl, including another car-park, at the centre of Douglas village.
The party is joining criticism of the plan made by Douglas Tidy Towns’ committee, who described the proposal as being in conflict with plans to reduce traffic flow through the village and to make it more pedestrian friendly.
Local Green Party representative, Justin Fleming, who grew up in Douglas, remembers what the village was like before the sudden explosive growth in traffic volume.
Speaking this afternoon, he said:
“Douglas has a truly beautiful central park and it’s well connected by a greenway to Tramore Valley Park but I’ve noticed how unattractive the experience of being in the village centre itself has become. The congestion is appalling. It’s frustrating and stressful to be stuck in constant traffic jams. Even the buses get stuck in them so there’s little incentive to take the bus. And when you eventually make it through the traffic you find yourself in a place that’s suffocated with noise and emissions.”
Mr Fleming, a campaigner for improved cycling facilities in Cork, said Douglas village was a perfect location to redesign around cycling and public transport.
“The last thing we need is another car park, especially in the village centre. What Douglas needs is a holistic redesign of the roads and streets to free the buses from ordinary traffic lanes and make cycling safe enough that people of all ages would opt to cycle past the traffic jams.”
Douglas village centre already has Dunnes Stores, Tesco, and Marks and Spencer supermarkets within walking distance of one another.
The proposed Lidl development will require more than €300,000 in traffic upgrades, including alterations to the well-known Fingerpost roundabout and the traffic island junction at Douglas East.