Safety fears along a busy stretch of road entering a north Longford village has been branded “an accident waiting to happen”.
That was the sobering analysis given by Cllr Martin Mulleady last week as he took issue with the continued absence of a pedestrian crossing on the Longford side of Drumlish village.
The Fianna Fail representative called for the crossing to be erected from a local GP service to the village’s Centra Supermarket, both of which straddle the R198 entering Drumlish.
“Up to 100 people have come to me about this situation,” he said.
“This has to be done before somebody gets killed.”
Cllr Mulleady’s comments came as Granard’s recently formed Municipal District held their first formal meeting after last May’s local and European elections.
The Drumlish based councillor said such was the level of urgency behind the measure funding needed to be ring-fenced as soon as possible.
“Either we fund it ourselves or we put funding in place,” he told his fellow councillors.
Cllr Pauric Brady adopted a similar stance.
“It has to be looked at because it’s a deathtrap. Somebody will be mowed out of it by a car if nothing is done,” he sternly put it.
In reply, Director of Services Jack Kilgallon assured members the council’s road design team would examine the road and its safety concerns in detail.
“An aplication for funding will be made to the NRA (National Roads Authority) under a low cost safety scheme,” he said.
It was a response which was given a cynical answer by a frustrated looking Cllr Mulleady.
“That’s probably the same answer I got the last time,” he said, referring to an earlier attempt at raising the issue at a north Longford area meeting in January.
Mr Kilgallon said there was little more he could say on the topic until his department heard what the NRA had to say. He added the council could be forced into finding monies to fund the project from within its own cash reserves.
“If we don’t get a budget (from the NRA) you will have to negotiate a budget from within the Municipal District,” he said.
Besides financial affairs, area engineer Eamon Bennett said there were other factors the council had to consider over the coming weeks.
“A safety audit will have to be done,” he said to determine speed and overall traffic volumes.