a PICTURESQUE Laois location that was the site of road accidents and fatalities now has a raft of new road safety improvements to reduc the risk to motorists and local people.
The Windy Gap outside Stradbally was the focus of a €50,000 road safety scheme, recently completed by Laois County Council.
Senior roads engineer Orla Barrett hopes the new measures, including warning signs, 80 chevrons and new road markings, will alert drivers to slow down.
“This is a very picturesque stretch of road with its high altitude and clear unobstructed views over the countryside but equally it is very exposed to the worst of weather conditions.
“Every effort is being made to make motorists aware of the severe bend at the graveyard. The addition of the solid white line around the entire windy gap and the new chevrons will draw people’s attention to slow down before the bad bend,” she said.
Ms Barrett thanked her road workers for their “trojan work”.
The safety measures add to traffic calming installed two years ago at a cost of €165,000 on the Portaoise and Carlow approach roads.
These included signs and roadmarkings coming from the Windy Gap warning of the sharp corner and the junction immediately after.
Stradbally-based county councillor called for a safe driving campaign to ensure the new signs were not ignored by motorists.
“A number of fatalities happened to drivers who were very familiar with the road, and knew where they were going.
“I would appeal that as well as putting up signs, a safer driving campaign be put in place. When you oversign, people are inclined to become immune, but speed and careless driving are the problem.
“Hopefully there will be no more fatalities, and this will cut down on accidents,” Cllr James Deegan said.