Residents of Cara Grove and Cara Vale are calling for enhanced safety measures at the entrance to their estates, as they believe inadequate signage and maintenance at the junction are a hazard to locals.
“We have a filter lane for people turning into the estate since last year, but there is no signage indicating that the turn is there,” explained chairperson of the Cara Grove and Cara Vale Residents Association, Liz Salmon.
“Judging by the speed at which people go past towards town, the speed limit sign might as well not be there. There is a sign but it is in on the grass and not visible. I hate walking on the path, and when I have the children with me I walk on the grass. If a car went out of control, pedestrians would be gone.”
To compound the situation, the road surface is in poor condition, says Ms Salmon. “If the road was maintained properly that would be half the battle, but just at the entrance there is a line of potholes and you have to manoeuvre your wheels around them.
“Maybe we need a few speed checks. The Ballymahon Road is a long road and people build up a lot of speed. The signs should be big and visible. Along this stretch there are also the entrances into Greenpark, the bungalows, the nursing home, and the turn off for Athlone, and traffic coming in and out of all these.”
Chairperson of Mullingar West Community Council, Fergal Hingerty, added that the community council was supporting the residents association in its efforts to improve the junction. “Once again Westmeath County Council has put houses into a field without providing any auxiliary facilities. We are calling on the council to provide proper signage and safety features at this exit,” he said.
In spite of the filter lane which was installed last year following a number of representations, Cllr Ken Glynn says there are still a number of safety issues.
“Coming out of the estate there is a huge issue, as the junction between the Ballymahon Road and the Athlone Road is so close. Cars have a long stretch of road to speed up on their way into town. I have a motion at the next meeting of Mullingar Town Councill that something be done at this junction.
“A roundabout is planned for Weldon’s Cross, and if this goes ahead it will help to alleviate the problems. I would ask the council to bring this forward as soon as possible.”