DANGER SPOT The crossroads where two cars collided on Sunday afternoon. Pic: Google Maps
Robeen community demands action on dangerous junction
‘WE’RE not waiting for someone to get killed’. That is the strong message coming from the community of Robeen following a serious car crash at the weekend.
Two men and two women were taken to hospital on Sunday following the two-car collision, which occurred at Robeen crossroads. The incident, which occurred at 2.15pm, involved two men in their 20s in one car, and two sisters in their 20s in another.
Four ambulances and a fire brigade attended the scene. One of the males and one of the females are reported to have undergone surgery for their injuries.
Following the crash, locals have again called for action on the dangerous junction, where several crashes have occurred over the years.
“We’re years trying to get something done. Four young people lying on the road, four ambulances and a fire brigade. One girl has a [suspected] broken back … It was traumatic,” said local man Pat McGovern, who came across the scene. Mr McGovern’s house is in close proximity to the junction.
“It’s so lucky there wasn’t a fatality. One engine was hanging out of a car, the impact was so severe.”
Right of way unclear
Mr McGovern said the main issue is that when travelling from the Ballyglass direction the main road veers to the right and people are unsure of right of way.
“One small sign is buried in briars. It’s inadequate … Signage is the issue. You’re coming down a hill from Ballyglass and onto a major road and you don’t have the right of way,” he said, adding that the yellow lines on the road are also faded.
A public meeting is being organised by the community (date and time to be confirmed), and calls have been made for a flashing sign at the junction.
“Somebody is going to get killed on it … It’s a fatality that will bring about action, that’s the view of some, but the waiting is over … One girl has been told she’ll be in recovery for up to two years. We’re banging our heads against a stone wall.”
Signage, markings highlighted
Local councillor Patsy O’Brien, who lives just 300 metres from the junction, has also had grave concerns about it.
Asked what has been done to address the junction’s safety, Cllr O’Brien told The Mayo News that since becoming a councillor he has put down three Notice of Motions about it and had ordered signage for the junction just last week. He is now looking into getting a flashing sign installed for the interim.
Responding to views of the community surrounding inadequate signage and faded road markings, Cllr O’Brien admitted he should have considered light-up signage previously and said current signage is not appropriate.
Furthermore, according to the councillor, the road markings that are on the Ballyglass road coming into the junction are no longer in use on roads, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland now recommends them solely for roundabouts.
“I’ve brought this issue to engineers at least three times since 2004. A staggered [junction] would be the real solution. I’ve spoken to the Council before. In the low-cost safety scheme, there has to be an accident record. I don’t agree you have to have accidents to get something done, but that’s the fact. Every crossroads you come to is dangerous.”
Cllr O’Brien said he has spoken to Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring about the matter, and that the minister is willing to look at it.
“In the interim, instead of a stationary sign I had ordered, I’m asking for a solar sign,” said Cllr O’Brien, who is planning on holding a discussion in the Parochial House (known locally as Fr Paddy’s house) on Monday next.
“I know there’s concern. I’m on the people’s side. This is a bad junction. No big discussion happens until something happens.”