Daughter of man killed at N20 junction calls on Cork council to rethink full closure

The daughter of an American tourist who was killed at a dangerous junction on the N20 has pleaded with the chief executive of Cork County Council to consider options other than full closure.

Diana Baker, whose father, James, was killed in a crash alongside Peggy Adams at the Waterloo junction north of Cork city last year, wrote to Tim Lucey yesterday saying the full closure of the junction, which has been in place since June, has “upended the lives of local residents”.

The scene of a crash at the N20 junction.

Despite political and public opposition to the permanent closure, and just days after legal action was threatened over the original temporary closure process, the Council has taken new legal steps to extend the temporary closure of the junction until the end of the year.

On foot of new legal advice, the Council published a public notice on Friday seeking the ‘urgent temporary closure’ of the road until December 31, citing ‘public safety’ as the reason.

Ms Baker, who has been following the process closely since she led calls in the Irish Examiner last May for safety upgrades at the junction, said there are other options: “As head of the Council, I’m struggling to understand how you can continue to support this option (full closure) when there is no proven safety benefit to drivers and creates nothing but hardship for residents. I implore you to please consider other options that will actually make the N20 and local roads safer and won’t require severing the deep connections between the residents of these local communities.”

She said she favours the closure of the southbound right-turn off the N20 which was a factor in her father’s death, and which has been a factor of several more serious accidents at that location.

The junction has been closed to public traffic since June 18 when work started on the resurfacing of a stretch of the N20.

Members of the council’s Macroom Blarney Municipal District Council are due to meet again on October 26 during which the closure will be raised again.

All six councillors have said they are opposed to permanent closure.

Members of Cork County Council voted unanimously at a full Council meeting last week in favour of a motion calling for the junction to be reopened.

By Eoin English
Irish Examiner Reporter

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