Call for road mark­ings to be re­in­stalled at N72 junc­tion

CLLR FU­RI­OUS OVER LACK OF SIGNS AT DAN­GER­OUS WATER­LOO JUNC­TION

The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

THE de­ci­sion to re­move road mark­ings on the Mal­low side of the N72 Water­loo junc­tion near Bal­ly­clough has been slammed by a Cork County Coun­cil­lor who said their re­moval is pos­ing a se­ri­ous dan­ger to lo­cal traf­fic.

Cllr John Paul O’Shea (Ind) re­cently wrote to Cork County Coun­cil of­fi­cials call­ing for the mark­ings, which were burned off when a sec­tion of the N72 was be­ing re-aligned, to be re­in­stated.

“Th­ese mark­ings were specif­i­cally put in place a few years ago fol­low­ing lengthy dis­cus­sions with coun­cil of­fi­cials af­ters com­plaints from lo­cal res­i­dents of be­ing rear ended as they tried to turn right at the junc­tion,” said Cllr O’Shea.

He pointed out there was no fil­ter lane at the junc­tion and no pos­si­bil­ity of one be­ing put in place in the short term as it would re­quire the pur­chase of ad­di­tional land.

“Bear­ing this in mind, it is im­per­a­tive that th­ese mark­ings be re­in­stated. Lo­cals are gen­uinely con­cerned that there will be a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent at the junc­tion if they are not,” said Cllr O’Shea.

Cllr O’Shea said he was in­formed by coun­cil of­fi­cials that they had been told by the Kerry sec­tion of the Na­tional Road De­sign Of­fice (NDRO), who are man­ag­ing the con­trac­tors, that the mark­ing were “not in ac­cor­dance” with Transport In­fra­struc­ture Ire­land’s (TII) Traf­fic Signs Man­ual. He was told that TII had also in­structed sim­i­lar mark­ings be re­moved from roads across the coun­try.

The NDRO had fur­ther ad­vised the coun­cil that off-set­ting the cen­tre line of the road to pro­vide a pass­ing bay at the junc­tion would mean nar­row­ing the hard shoul­der, forc­ing cy­clists onto the main traf­fic lane.

“Tak­ing th­ese ob­ser­va­tions into con­sid­er­a­tion the Kerry NRDO ad­vise that the right turn­ing ar­rows will not be pro­vided at this junc­tion,” wrote the coun­cil’s divi­sional man­ager Jim Moloney.

A fu­ri­ous Cllr O’Shea branded the de­ci­sion as “ridicu­lous”, ask­ing if the Kerry NDRO had in­formed the coun­cil of the pro­posed changes prior to the re­moval of the road signs.

“It would ap­pear changes are be­ing im­ple­mented with­out prior no­tice to pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives or the pub­lic, of­ten re­sult­ing in dif­fer­ent lay­outs and sig­nage for road users,” said Cllr O’Shea.

“If road users are not in­formed of changes, it is likely to re­sult in a se­ri­ous road traf­fic ac­ci­dent. My fear is that the re­moval of the road signs at Water­loo has turned this junc­tion into an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen,” he added.

Mr Moloney sug­gested that Cllr O’Shea con­tact TII di­rectly on the is­sue as they has cho­sen to deal di­rectly with road mark­ings and sig­nage on na­tional roads rather than go­ing through lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, in or­der to get con­sis­tency along routes.

Cllr O’Shea has since writ­ten to TII re­quest­ing they ad­dress the junc­tion at Water­loo “as a pri­or­ity” and re­in­state the burned off mark­ings.

“TII say they have put this pol­icy in place to get con­sis­tency along all routes. This is ridicu­lous as it does not take into ac­count dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions at in­di­vid­ual junc­tions,” said Cllr O’Shea.

“Th­ese mark­ings were in place be­fore, so there is a clear in­di­ca­tion from the coun­cil that this is a po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous junc­tion. It beg­gars be­lief that TII would go against this and by do­ing so put the lives of road users in dan­ger,” he added.

Cllr John Paul O’Shea has writ­ten to TII call­ing for the burned off road mark­ing­son the N72 near Bal­ly­clough to be re­in­stated.

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