More than €44,000 is to be spent in the provision of improving footpaths on Mill Street, Westport, under the 2009 roadworks scheme which was before members of the Westport Electoral Area committee at a meeting on Monday.
The scheme, which accommodates for national, regional, and local roads through general maintenance, surface dressing, strengthening, and winter maintenance was proposed by members, who welcomed the provision of these footpaths and works to be carried out at Cregganahorna (near Barley Hill ), however a number of roads including the Ballinrobe Road, the N59, and Newport area were not included in the programme which led to criticism from councillors.
Councillor Margaret Adams highlighted the “lack of progress” in the Ballinrobe Road area which is “highly dangerous” due to the number of bends and also the dangerous exit from Kings Hill onto the N59 Newport Road — which the Fianna Fáil councillor also raised at the recent town council meeting.
Fine Gael Cllr John O’Malley said that the Pinewoods exit onto the Newport Road is as bad as the Kings Hill exit and that extensive works needed to be carried out at Barley Hill, even though reflectors have been put in place.
Newport based Fianna Fáil councillor Frank Chambers, who walked out of the last meeting due to no engineer from the Newport area being present, commented that this roadwork scheme did not have a provision for footpaths or lighting in Newport and there was nothing in the proposed scheme which was relevant to Newport.
Engineer with Mayo County Council, Ger Reidy, responded to councillors’ queries by saying that Westport area engineers were actively seeking funding from the department to rectify the bends on the Ballinrobe road, but have been unsuccessful in receiving money and also said that no substantial money has been received to improve the N59. Mr Reidy noted that no funds for low cost accident improvements have been received so far for the Kings Hill entrance, with Cllr Adams then calling for a concealed entrance sign to be erected. Town manager Peter Hynes said that problems with this junction were discussed at a recent town council meeting and that traffic calming along the Newport Road would be looked into. Mr Hynes also commented that it was best to get the roadworks programme up and running as soon as possible.