State body to rule on Longford road safety works

State body to rule on Longford road safety works

Moves to carry out road safety improvements at a south Longford junction have hit a stumbling block over financial concerns.

Cllr Paul Ross highlighted the need for a low cost safety scheme to be undertaken at Corrycorkery Junction off the N55 at Ballyglassin, Carrickboy.

This, he said, was on foot of several calls he had received from concerned locals about the junction’s hazardous nature.

“There have been a number of accidents there over the past number of years and a lot of agricultural traffic travels along that route,” he told last week’s Municipal District meeting.

“I can’t emphasise enough the amount of phonecalls I have received in relation to that.”

Cllr Ross’ pleas came in for support from the opposite side of the chamber, courtesy of Fianna Fáil’s Mick Cahill.

He too said he had been in regular contact with local homeowners, many of whom expressed their worries over the junction.

Despite the alarming words of both councillors, area engineer Alan Slattery said the County Council’s hands were very much tied on the matter.

Rather, he said any hopes of initiating a low cost safety scheme, was dependent on finance being made available by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)  the state body charged with maintaining the country’s national roads network.

Mr Slattery also appeared to dampen claims made by Cllr Ross over the number of reported accidents which had occurred at the junction.

“The area engineer in the (Council’s) roads section has said he would inspect it and will register it on the system for TII and if they deem it necessary for a low cost safety scheme they will approve it (funding),” he said.

They were comments Cllr Ross seemed visibly dismayed by as he rounded on the claims made by Mr Slattery.

“I can tell you there are six houses within a mile of one another where there have been crashes. I don’t accept that,” he responded.

Mr Slattery said he could only go by the number of accidents which had been recorded there.

“So does that mean we will probably wait until there is a serious crash there,” Cllr Ross vociferously retorted.

Mr Slattery though cognisant of the misgivings aired by Cllr Ross, said the affair was out of his and the local authority’s hands.

“The engineer for the roads department has gone out and inspected it and he will notify TII and register it on the system,” he reasserted.

“At the end of the day it will be the TII that will decide if it (junction) warrants funding or not.”