Council call for immediate road safety improvements in Ballykeeran village

Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, has called upon the Athlone-Moate Municipal District to engage with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ), the local authority road design office and residents to find a solution to the dangerous traffic situation in Ballykeeran, the scene of numerous serious accidents.

Speaking at the the most recent sitting of the Municipal District Cllr Dolan stated that he had met with Ballykeeran residents in recent days to discuss the problematic dangerous traffic concerns.

“There continues to be a number of serious traffic accidents along this road as you enter Ballykeeran village and the residents continue to express their rightful concerns.

“In recent times, such was the severity of one incident, a car, travelling at speed, crashed and came to a halt in the front garden of a local resident, a frightening experience as you can imagine.

“Indeed, while I was meeting with the local residents a long haul vehicle came hurtling down the hill towards the village at speed and if control was lost it is unimaginable to think what the outcome might have been.

“This is an incredibly serious issue, ongoing for numerous years. The residents are extremely concerned as the road signage erected obviously is not working.

“I do believe there is the utmost need to devise and implement a road safety scheme which will have an impact and appease the concerns of local residents - perchance an island or chicane on approach to Ballykeeran village as this would necessiatate the slowing down of all vehicles on approach,” Cllr Dolan stated.

Concurring, Athlone Deputy Mayor, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, noted that a decision on the N55 realignment was still “some time off”, but in the interim safety measures were a “necessity”, in particular referencing the extremely bad bend within the village, a hazardous stretch of road.

Independent Councillor, Paul Hogan, requested the Council executive to implement physical road safety structures on this route which “together with the relevant signage would slow down all traffic entering Ballykeearn village”.

Concurring that this stretch of road had a “sad accident history” director of service, Barry Kehoe, informed the Councillors present that the implementation of speed ramps my prove beneficial to the village in terms of slowing down traffic passing through Ballykeeran.

“Ramps are a traffic safety mechanism which may appeal in this particular instance. We introduced a similar road safety mechanism in Tyrrellspass recently (as you approach the national school ) and vehicles have slowed down considerably reducing the fear factor for pedestrians.

“We have to show consistency across our road network. The N55 realignment may not reach fruition for eight to ten years so we need to plan accordingly for Ballykeeran at this time,” Mr Kehoe asserted.

The Transportation Section will examine this location with a view to ascertaining what additional measures, if any, that may be required in terms of advanced warning signage and road markings at this location.


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