There are 24 lights lighting up a bridge on the N17 outside Claremorris yet there is no illumination at a dangerous junction just metres away which has been the site of 13 accidents. And there is no way to make the junction safe, local councillors were told this week.
Councillor Tom Connolly has called on Mayo County Council and the NRA to make safe the junction at Meelickmore/Lisduff and to install public lighting at the junction due to the number of accidents that have taken place there since the bypass opened.
The volume of traffic using the junction justifies a redesign, Cllr Pat McHugh told the Claremorris electoral area committee this week. He said that when the bypass was originally designed, by a Scottish road safety company, the junction design was adequate. But it isn’t any longer. He asked if there was a proposal to have that junction redesigned as part of a realignment of the N17.
Mr Patsy Burke, senior engineer with the council, said a preferred route for the N17 dual carriage is due to be announced in February. Junctions onto the new road will be redesigned, he explained.
Mr Burke added that no matter what was done with the offending Meelickmore/Lisduff junction at the time of construction of the current N17 bypass it would not have been possible to make it safe. According to the engineer, half a mile from the junction there is a second junction which is perfectly designed and much safer. “You couldn’t expect the two junctions to survive on economic grounds,” he said, adding that he would be making the point to the NRA that there have been a number of accidents there.
Cllr McHugh made the point that far more vehicles use the “unsafe” junction as use the “safe” one because it is “nearer” and “handier”, while Cllr Connolly said the Meelickmore/Lisduff junction serves traffic turning off the bypass and heading to Ballinrobe.
Mr Burke said he understood the councillors had also been subjected to pressure from commercial interests in the area to have the junction signposted to redirect traffic in their direction.