Upgrade and realignment works are urgently needed at dangerous blackspots on the N17 where accidents are occurring on an ongoing basis, according to Independent councillor Seán Canney.
Tuam-based Cllr Canney made the comments following reports of the latest crash to occur on the N17, north of Milltown, on Monday morning. The two-car crash occurred at a bend at Carrownurlaur, about three miles on the Ballindine side of Milltown, at around 7am resulting in one person being taken to hospital; however, the injuries were not believed to be life threatening.
The location of this crash is not far from the location where a fatal collision between a car and a pick-up truck took place on November 17 last year which resulted in the deaths of four young women. A fifth woman, the driver of the car, is still being treated in hospital, almost nine months later.
The parents of one of the victims have recently called on the National Roads Authority (NRA ) and the local authorities to carry out an upgrade of the road where their daughter died. Their pleas have been backed by local residents who have for years been crying out for upgrade works to be carried out.
One local man, who contacted Galway Advertiser, demanded an explanation “as to why the Galway County Council have ignored the appalling state of the N17”. Echoing the feelings felt by many residents along this route, the man asked if there was “some grudge” against the people or if there was “no representative to speak for them”.
When these questions were posed to Cllr Canney he replied, “As a councillor I have made numerous representations to the Galway County Council”. He further explained that he has been concerned for the state of the N17 and the dangers it poses for a long time now. “The problem is since the tragic deaths of those girls there have been numerous accidents. Some of them may not be life-threatening but they are still happening on an ongoing basis, almost monthly. It’s a national primary route but it is a very poor section of road as regards alignment,” he said.
At a recent Galway County Council meeting Cllr Canney highlighted the issue in a notice of motion which requested information. A reply (dated July 26 ) sent to Cllr Canney outlines the works which have been undertaken at the behest of the NRA at Carrownurlaur, Milltown.
The works are as follows: replacement of studs along centreline of road and edge of carriageways for a length of 258m; erection of 13 new chevron signs, bringing the total number of chevron signs (double-sized ) in place to 17; relocation of two existing flag signs on local road L6510; and the installation by Rennicks of two Vehicle Actuated Signs along with two gateway signs.
The N17 at Carrownurlaur will be resurfaced today with a yellow/red colour road chip with higher skid resistance in an effort to slow down traffic. The works are expected to take between two to three days to complete and traffic lights will be in operation.
However, Cllr Canney remains dissatisfied with the progress, stating, “There are still bends in the road which need to be urgently addressed. My concern as a councillor is that what we’ve been told by the NRA is that they are building a bypass which will avoid Milltown and other areas, but this will still not solve the problem with local traffic. It’s not just strangers who are having accidents, it’s also the locals who use the road every day and are familiar with it. The section of the N17 needs to be realigned. The NRA’s attitude is that the bypass will mean less traffic on the N17. I wouldn’t agree with that. The existing N17 will still be used, it’s still a very dangerous blackspot,” he said.