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19/10/2021

Laois councillor who saved wrong way motorist makes motorway safety proposal

M7 Cork, Dublin, Limerick motorway

M7 Cork, Dublin, Limerick motorway on ramp

Barriers should be lengthened at motorway exit slip roads to reduce the risk of fatalities, according to a Laois county councillor who has first had experience of stopping somebody from going the wrong way on the M7.

Cllr PJ Kelly, Fine Gael, represents a community that lives along the M7 in Laois. He made the safety suggestion at a recent meeting with Laois County Council officials.

He tabled a motion calling on Laois County Council to contact Transport Infrastructure Ireland or those in charge of the motorway network  to investigate the possibility of adding an extra metre of barrier  at the top of  the exit lane going on to a roundabout.

He said this should be no higher than two feet at the right hand side of the exit as all traffic has to turn left onto the roundabout.

HIs motion said this would greatly benefit vehicles accidentally or otherwise getting onto the motorway on the wrong side.

Cllr Kelly explained the motivation behind his proposal.

“The reason I brought this up is that people were killed not too long ago on a motorway because a car went down the wrong way.

“I had a situation myself on exit 15 on at Emo (on the M7) where i had to stop a car from coming down the wrong side. The man got disorientated. I just got out of my car and blocked the road with my jeep. I turned him on the exit road,” he said.

Mr. Farhan Nasiem, A/ Senior Executive Engineer, Road Design replied for the council.

“All motorway infrastructure, including junctions with the motorway network are designed and constructed in accordance with the specifications and standards contained within the TII Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. All motorway infrastructure is subject to the Road Safety Audit process at the design, construction and post completion stages and any issues identified are rectified,” he said.

He tabled a motion at a recent Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

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