The National Roads Authority came in for some heavy criticism this week from Mullingar councillors after it removed the picture of a caravan from a roadsign outside Tyrrellspass.
Five of the nine councillors from the Mullingar area voiced criticisms of the Authority, and have demanded the appearance of a representative to come and explain their reasons.
“Myself and Cllr Dollard had a bit of a go about this before,” said Cllr Ken Glynn at the meeting of the Mullingar area committee on Monday (November 14 ) in the council chamber.
“I’m very angry about this, and issues like this shouldn’t be happening. We’re hurting over tourism,” he added.
Cllr Glynn was speaking in relation to a question he submitted to the council executive to demand it “contact the NRA to have the caravan symbol re-instated on the signage at the Tyrrellspass slip road off the M6, in the interests of local business and tourism”.
He was speaking in reference to the long-standing tourist attraction of the caravan park on the shores of Lough Ennell at Tudenham.
“We won’t allow this,” said Cllr Glynn, who then demanded a representative of the NRA be invited to the Chamber to explain the Authority’s rationale on this and other issues.
Cllr Mick Dollard, who himself had a difficulty with the NRA over N4 signage for Delvin, added his voice to Cllr Glynn’s, saying: “I have absolutely no respect for the NRA”.
Cllr Denis Leonard also submitted questions on this subject in relation to The Downs, Coralstown, and Kinnegad, and suggested that when the council wrote to the NRA they include a list of the councillors’ queries in advance so that if an executive of the Authority’s appeared before the councillors: “he can’t fob us off by saying he’ll look into it”.
Cllr Aidan Davitt submitted a similar question to the executive in relation to M6/M4 signage for Milltownpass in Kinnegad, and was told that a request for a complete overview of the NRA’s signage in this area had already been submitted.
Cllr Niamh Kiernan had issues with the Authority over the €1.1 million re-surfacing from Bunbrosna to Ballinalack which had “traffic backed up to Lough Owel on Friday evening”.
Howard Costello told her this was necessary work to strengthen the road, and that the work will be finished by the end of the month.
“The contractor is aware of the need to minimise delays, in particular the evening peaks, and will schedule work to finish at 4pm where possible,” he said.
A sixth councillor, Johnnie Penrose, had a request for a filter lane on the N4 at Winetown, beyond Rathowen, but voiced no complaint about the Authority.
The meeting agreed to write tto the NRA and invite a representative to come and address the council on thes diverse issues.