06 Jul 2022

'Perplexed' that Laois train station road issue not seen as very serious

'Perplexed' that Laois train station road issue not seen as very serious

Laois Fine Gael representatives Cllr Conor Bergin and Cllr John King not seeing eye to eye

A county councillor said he was ‘perplexed’ that a colleague did not share a concern over road safety issues at Ballybrophy train station.

Cllr Conor Bergin, Fine Gael, raised the issue at a recent meeting with Laois County Council officials. His motion called on the local authority to address the “serious road safety issues at the traffic lights on the R435 at the junction/bridge at Ballybrophy Railway Station”.

Cllr Bergin insisted that the lights work fine and were welcomed.

“The problem is that you have two sets of lights - one on each side of the bridge. They are on two separate sequences.

“There were two very serious incidents recently that were near misses,” he said.

Cllr Bergin said it’s a crazy situation.

“They are taking their life in their hands every day they go onto the road,” he said.

Cllr Bergin said people see a green light and assume it is ok to go but the sequencing does not make it safe on what is an extremely busy regional road.

He added that not all are complying with the traffic lights.

Cllr Bergin requested additional measures such as electronic signs and rumble strips. 

“People who live adjacent to the road are terrified…There is going to be a serious accident there one of these days if something is not done,” he said.

While Cllr John King, Fine Gale, seconded the motion, he was not in total agreement with his colleague at the Borris-in-Ossory Mountmellick Municipal District meeting. He said he worked to have the lights installed. 

He insisted that people have to get used to lights. He added that one incident resulted from damage to the lights control unit.

“I don’t think the issue is as bad as Cllr Bergin states. I pass that road at least four times a day and there is now issue with the traffic,” he said.

Cllr King added that motorist are aware of the danger who must be cautious. 

Cllr Bergin said he did not agree with Cllr King.

“He might not think it is a concern but for the people living on Station Road it is a very serious concern,” he said.

Cllr Bergin added that he has had numerous calls from the public about the issue and there have been a number of near misses.

“I am perplexed to hear Cllr King say it is not as bad an issue as it seems,” he said.

Cllr King said there are issues at every junction and a ‘huge issue’ can be made if wished. He added that the traffic lights have been a success and minor steps should solve it.

Mr. Farhan Nasiem, Acting Senior Engineer Road Design, said his section would arrange a site meeting with Cllr Bergin to discuss issues  at the location and a proposal will be prepared to rectify the problem.

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