25 May 2022

Urgent safety work required at scene of recent Laois collision

Urgent safety work  required at scene of recent Laois collision

Urgent action is needed on the road that serves Knockbeg before someone is maimed for life or killed, a recent council meeting was told.   

Cllr Ben Brennan raised the risks facing people on the Sleaty Road a meeting with Laois County Council officials.

He told the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District that: “There was an accident on that road last week. A man was hospitalised.”   

He tabled a motion calling on the council to give an update on the safety measures being put in place.

In response,  Assistant Senior Executive Engineer, Farhan Nasiem stated: “The safety improvement measures on the Knockbeg road are to include hedge removal and passively safe fence installation to improve sightlines at the junction. This will be considered for the 2023 Low Cost Safety Improvement Schemes.”

Cllr Brennan was insistent that action be taken sooner. “This has to be sorted in 2022. There must be money somewhere for it.” He said there are 500 pupils attending school on the road. He claimed motorists coming onto the road are unable to see towards Carlow or Athy until they are “out in the middle” of the road. 

He warned, “There was a serious accident the other night but a more serious accident, someone is going to be maimed for life or killed and then we can find money. I feel it has to be done straight away.” 

Cllr Padraig Fleming agreed with his colleague and said there has been a safety issue there for years. “You have to reconsider this motion and do something effective.”

Cllr Brennan said taking hedges out would be a first step. He said there are old people there who cannot leave their home when school is on.

“I was up there, I counted 286 vehicles coming in plus ten buses and they have to come back again,” he remarked. 

Cllr Aisling Moran agreed with her council colleague. “That road is lethal and we have so many kids in that school,” she told the meeting. 

She suggested a widening of the road and the introduction of cycle lanes along the route. “There is money for cycle lanes and all that and I think we should be applying,” she said. 

Cllr Aidan Mullins also asked for the council to look again at the safety measures on the road. 

Director of Services Gerry Murphy said “we will have to get back to Farhan to see what work needs to be carried out.” 

Cllr Brennan said he had met with a member of the council staff at the location and “he understands 100% what needs to be done.” He added, “2022 is the year to get it done, end of story.”

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