If you are planning on visiting the Ring of Kerry over the next few months, you will have to be sure of your timing as Kerry County Council is due to carry out essential roadworks on the famous route.

A 1.3 kilometre portion of the loop is to be completely closed for large sections of the day between late November and next March.

The temporary closure of the N70 road between Caherdaniel and Castlecove is a hot topic of conversation among locals in south Kerry, which is at the most southerly point of the Ring of Kerry loop.

Some of the locals are arguing that the local authority "absolutely won't close it", despite the proposal having gone out for public consultation.

The works on this particular road have long been campaigned for but locals question the way Kerry County Council have gone about it.

The road is due to be closed every weekday between 9.30am and 1.30pm and between 3.30pm and 7pm, and on Saturdays between 9.30am and 1.30pm, effectively cutting off a piece of the famous route to local access.

Andrew McCarthy of McCarthy's Coaches in front of Coláiste na Sceilge

Andrew McCarthy of McCarthy’s Coaches said the road closure means that he cannot carry out the school contract his business agreed to.

For the 15 children on his bus going home from the only south Kerry secondary school in Cahersiveen to Castlecove, they will have to get off at the neighbouring village of Caherdaniel and it is not yet clear how they will get across the works to make it home.

"Typically from Castlecove to O'Carrolls Cove, I'd have about seven stops but where the road closure is taking place I won't be able to turn the coach, so the families are going to have to find alternative means to meet me and whether they'll be let through or not I don't know," he said.

The only other way to get to Castlecove is to drive 179km around the Ring of Kerry, which Mr McCarthy said, is not an option.

"It wouldn't be possible for me because other students get off in Waterville and at the Scarriff Inn and Caherdaniel village, so those students aren't affected by it so it wouldn't be viable to go all the way around," he said.

Credit: Google maps

While none of the locals disagree that the works are badly-needed, some of them question how they will get to and from work or access basic amenities like the shop and GP.

For those wanting to get to one of their main local towns like Cahersiveen, they will have to travel around the ring through Sneem, out to Killarney in east Kerry and back through Killorglan.

One local, Elaine, who is expecting her second child, explained how the works will inconvenience her.

"If I had to go immediately for a checkup or anything, my husband’s farm is in Sneem and if he had to come for me we would be slowed down," she said.

"We don’t mind waiting 15 or 20 minutes for a convoy - just let the locals through", she added.

"Our doctor is in Sneem and this is our shop so we would be cut off from all our basic amenities," said another local.

One of the suggestions made was that a stop-go system be put in place so that the local authority would not have to close 1.3km of the route altogether.

"The proposal is to close the route entirely for the hours set out each day and that is because of the nature of the works," said Owen O'Shea, Communications Manager with Kerry County Council.

"It requires bringing in machinery that would constitute a safety hazard."

The council said that careful consideration was given to the timing of the upgrade to avoid any disruption to the thousands of visitors who travel across the country to visit the Ring of Kerry during the summer and that any suggestions made in the public consultation process will be reviewed.