18 May 2022

Reversing 1km up Laois road to allow the ambulance through

Narrow roads without laybys putting lives at risk as speed also highlighted

An ambulance

Ambulances and other emergency vehicles face difficult on country road claims councillor

Work is needed on a road in the Ballacolla area to ensure ambulances and other road traffic can pass each other without have to resort to reversing up to a kilometre to get through.

Cllr James Kelly raised problems with the L56361 at Coolderry, Ballacolla, at the recent Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting.

He called on the Council to provide road safety measures such as lay-bys cut-ins and re-surfacing. Laois County Council will assess this road in the overall context of the development of a future roads programme.

Cllr Kelly said he had been contacted by people who regularly drive on the road.

“Essential road improvements are going to be needed for safe travel. It is a narrow road because if two vehicles meet they can’t pass,” he said.

The councillor said ditches are cut but are high which is fine for trucks of tractors but not other motorists.

“In the event of emergencies or if an ambulance is needed they would have to reverse up the road for a kilometre,” he said.

He suggested that cut-ins or lay-bys be added to the road in the short term to allow vehicles pass. Cllr Kelly claimed it was inspected by an engineer in early 2019 with a commitment to repairs given.

He added former Government Minister Michael Ring said people in rural areas should be able to use local roads. 

Cllr John King endorsed the call for lay-bys while Cllr Ollie Clooney said he had raised the issue on a number of occasions.

“I have looked for road markings and whatever on this road but nothing has been done...the biggest problem on this road is the speed of traffic. It is unbelievable,” he said.

He added that signs are also needed. 

Mr Edmond Kenny, District Engineer, said that the Council would assess this road in the overall context of the development of a future roads programme.

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