The danger posed at the junction of the Heywood Road and the inner relief road in Clonmel is caused by the behaviour of motorists,
according to the National Roads Authority (NRA).
District Mayor Martin Lonergan told a meeting of Clonmel Borough District that this was the view expressed by the NRA at a meeting he attended earlier this month.
He said he wasn’t particularly happy with the response that any problems at that junction could be put down to “driver issues”. All they could do was ask the Council to again contact the NRA.
Local politicians have been campaigning for years for safety measures, including a roundabout, at the junction. Not surprisingly, Cllr. Lonergan’s comments provoked an angry response.
Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose feared that safety measures wouldn’t be implemented until someone was killed or maimed. The pedestrian crossing had only been put in place after a child was almost killed. They had several reports from the Gardai confirming that there had been numerous accidents at the junction.
“Do the NRA know what junction we are talking about”, she asked.
At the December meeting Cllr. Pat English said that a roundabout at that location was a matter of life and death, and at the January meeting he repeated his claim that a very serious situation existed there. This issue had been raised on numerous occasions during his 12 years in local politics.
“We need to go back and put serious pressure on the NRA”, he stated.
It was “highly irresponsible” of the NRA to suggest that any problem was caused by driver issues, said Cllr. Michael Murphy. He was so annoyed that the NRA would make that claim without carrying out any investigation there. People were in fear of their lives every day at this dangerous junction.
The members should write to the roads authority and outline in stark terms that there would be a fatality if they failed to act, and if that happened it would be on their conscience, he said.