By Elizabeth Lee
THE abolition of a turning lane and a reduction in traffic speed at the Royal Oak Road junction with the Kilkenny Road has seen a drastic reduction in road accidents.
Jerry Crowley, senior executive engineer, told local representatives at September’s Bagenalstown municipal district meeting that there have been no road traffic accidents at the junction since the layout was changed in January 2020.
The junction, which had been notorious for accidents, was changed so it no longer had a turning lane on the Kilkenny Road. A study which has been carried out for the past 18 months showed that the turning lane had been the cause of a blackspot for drivers coming up to the main road from the Royal Oak Road.
Getting rid of the turning lane, along with a reduction in the speed limit, were successful in making the junction safer.
However, councillors weren’t happy with how the junction now looks as there is a row of bollards along the main road.
“They’re an eyesore and residents aren’t happy,” cathaoirleach Arthur McDonald said. “What’s the long-term plan?”
Mr Crowley replied that they would replace the temporary bollards with better ones, while a further reduction in the speed limit there would be favourable.
Cllr Michael Doran agreed that the junction was an eyesore and also said that a major reduction in the speed limit was needed. He pointed to the traffic calming measures going into the village of Paulstown as being successful, while cllr Andy Gladney said that similar measures were to be found in the village of Clara.
Mr Crowley replied that he would like the speed limit to be reduced to 60kph and suggested that the members should write to the roads engineer Ray Wickham about it.
Cllr Doran then expressed concern about people speeding in the village of Leighlinbridge and other rural areas.
“The national campaign against speeding isn’t working, speed ramps aren’t effective either,” he said. “We can’t allow this to keep happening.”
Mr Crowley agreed that speed ramps alone aren’t effective but that flashing signs with the drivers’ speed on them are much more efficient.