Residents on the N55 and Brannigan Road areas of Ballymahon town have reacted angrily to the National Roads Authority’s decision not to reduced speed limits on Brannigan Road.
In recent weeks, residents were told by the NRA that speed limits in the area would not be reduced, despite the fact that the current speed limit on the Brannigan Road is 80km/h and 50-100km/h along the N55 - “an accident waiting to happen”, as one woman with young children living close to the routes told the Leader last week. Longford Co Council has indicated that it is not prepared to make any comment in respect of a matter whic effects a route operated by the NRA.
Deirdre Moorhead lives on Brannigan Road with her family. Just recently a car overturned outside her gate and while the driver was not injured, however according to Ms Moorhead, “It is only a matter of time before something terrible happens”.
“Firstly, you have the N55 heading out of Ballymahon towards Edgeworthstown which has a 50km/h speed limit and then a 100km/h speed is introduced - and this speed limit is on one of the most dangerous bends in the country,” she fumed. “Then if you turn onto the Brannigan Road – which is a one way road and leads to Brannigan Harbour, the speed limit is 80km/h along a route that is narrow, full of bends and very dangerous to drive on; we are afraid to let our children out to play and to be honest with you, you wouldn’t let them out on their bikes for fear that they would get knocked down and killed. Between cars and articulated lorries, it is a very dangerous area to live in and is not a place where children can roam freely.”
After taking the matter to Longford Co Council and the NRA, residents in the area now feel that their genuine concerns for the safety and welfare of, not just their families and they, but also towards other users of the routes concerned, have simply fallen on deaf ears. “At this stage a number of cars have already ended up in the Canal and there are 17 children growing up on Brannigan Road, with five of those under the age of 12,” Ms Moorhead continued. “We have always been worried about our children’s safety and indeed that of everyone that uses these routes – Brannigan Road is also a walking route because of its idyllic setting – so you can imagine how concerned we are at this stage,” she said. “We tried to get speed ramps and we were told that ramps were not an option, so we have spoken to our local area representative, Barney Steele (FF) who is currently making representations on our behalf. All we want is to have the speed limits reduced, but so far, in our efforts to that, all we seemed to have done is hit our heads of a brick wall. We do not want to wait until something dreadful happens before appropriate action is taken on this issue.”