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Calls for Cong bypass


TIGHT SPOT Cars make their way down the narrow Abbey Street in Cong. There are calls for a bypass of the village given the number of trucks which must drive through the village centre. Pic: Google Earth

Edwin McGreal

With approximately 100 trucks a day meandering their way through the narrow streets of Cong, calls have been made for a bypass of the busy tourist village.
The village centre’s one-way system takes many passing trucks including timber trucks going to the mill in Corr na Mona and trucks going to and from the nearby quarry.
Community activist Ray McHugh has been observing traffic in his native village all his life and said it’s what Cong needs more than anything.
“We’ve been talking about a bypass for a long time. Lorries getting from A to B have to come through the village. We have 90-100 trucks a day coming through the village,” he told The Mayo News.
Cormac Concannon runs Cong Pharmacy on Abbey Street and has borne witness to the truck traffic in the town since he first opened there seven years ago.
“Trucks going through Cong are a nightmare. It is scary the speed they pass at too,” he told The Mayo News.
“It is going to take a catastrophe before something is done. If a child ran across the road here at the Abbey, there is no way a truck would be able to stop fast enough. It’s mainly log trucks and it is a huge problem,” he added.
He witnessed something during renovations three years ago which stunned him.
“I came down to have a look and it was just a shell of a building and they were going to put a lot of steel in and I wondered if it was needed. A truck went past and the whole building shook. The engineer looked at me and said ‘that’s why you need the steel’.
“I can’t imagine what might be happening to the Abbey and the graveyard. The roads in the village are not designed for those trucks. The streets are narrow and a lot of the trucks fly by,” he added.
Ray McHugh is involved in the Cong Hands of Fame, located beside the Quiet Man statue and argues the paving needs to be improved there while it should be made wheelchair accessible.
Cormac Concannon praised the work of the local Tidy Towns but called for more regular emptying of council bins in the summer months as ‘they fill up so quickly with so many visitors’.
He also argued for a 15 minute parking space outside business premises such as his.
“I could do with a parking spot right outside the door. The amount of times a 52-seater bus could pull up there and might be there for the day. Elderly customers then find it hard to get in and sometimes you might be running down the village with medicine to wherever they were able to get parking. It is a massive hindrance for us,” he said.