Cars are regularly leaving the road in Spink and crashing into a farmer’s ditch, prompting calls from local councillors for new speed signs to be installed before the next accident ends in a tragedy.
At the recent meeting of the Portlaoise Municipal District in Laois County Hall, both Cllr Mary Sweeney and Cllr John Joe Fennelly called on Laois County Council to improve safety at the stretch of road at Derryfore/Lisnagammon, Spink.
Cllr Sweeney called for extra safety measures, such as signage and road repairs, at the R430.
She said that many residents of the area had contacted her following a number of very bad accidents at this location, which had led to an accident report being lodged with Abbeyleix gardaí.
“Just last week four cars went into a ditch, there’s a very bad bend there,” she said, adding that the lack of visible signage was causing vehicles to crash into the ditch of a local farmer.
“It’s quite frightening what could have happened, and it happened again on Monday night, two cars this time. That’s six in the last week,” she said.
She told the meeting that the farmer and his family be out working in the nearby field, and asked for visible signs to be installed to slow down motorists.
The slipperiness of one side of the road was also an issue, she said.
Engineer, Mr Tom O’Carroll agreed that perhaps more signs were needed, but remarked: “It sounds like a lot of recent accidents, what’s changed there? I never heard of it before.”
Cllr Sweeney replied that perhaps it hadn’t been reported before, but she fully believed the reports she had received of six cars going into the ditch the previous week.
In his motion, Cllr Fennelly called on the council to carry out a safety inspection on the R433, as a lot of cars are leaving the road at this location.
Cllr Fennelly said that cars leaving the Abbeyleix end of the road were going over into the ditch, and there had been another serious accident there on the previous Monday night.
He proposed installing an electronic speed sign that informs motorists of their speed, in an attempt to slow them down.
“The Abbeyleix side could do with a fairly big sign,” agreed Mr O’Carroll, “but we should go with additional signage first.”
Cllr Fennelly restated his belief that an electronic sign was needed, saying: “If there’s a fatality there, we’ll be asking why didn’t we do something.”
In a written reply to both motions, M Farhan Nasiem, acting senior executive engineer, said that road design will review and issue a report on this.
Funding has been sought from the OPW in relation to this location.