Longford County Council hopes to take a busy private road on the outskirts of Longford town into public ownership.
Director of Services Jack Kilgallen said talks with the owner of the road, which runs past Flancare and links the Athlone Road and the Strokestown Road, had taken place with a view to brokering a resolution.
But due to an outstanding planning enforcement action presently being taken, the council were not in a position to publicly address the matter any further, he explained.
“For that reason, we (council) won’t be able to give a full report for the moment as it is sub judice,” he told councillors last week.
“It is a private road. Consultations have taken place with the owner of the road to see when it can be taken in charge. Obviously the council has an interest in the road as the public use it but as of now it is a private road.”
Concerns originally arose after Cllr Peggy Nolan revealed a mother and child travelling along the road had a narrow escape after their car hit a pothole.
This, she said, highlighted the need to identify the road’s ownership given the large volumes of traffic that use the route on a daily basis.
“It has to be (made) public because it is a crucial part of the infrastructure on that side of town,” she said in response to Mr Kilgallen.
Besides the road’s high level of activity, concern was expressed about the council’s own legal standing if and when public liablity claims are made.
Announcing that she had in fact voiced her own misgivings at a previous meeting, Cllr Mae Sexton said the onus was on the council to clear up any lingering ambiguity.
“If any liability exists to the council I suspect we will not get away scot free with any claims that do come in,” she warned.
Cllr Denis Glennon, meanwhile, said the National Roads Authority (NRA) might have to assume greater responsibility due to the carriageway occupying the role of an almost “link road” status between the N63 and N5 respectively.