There is an imminent and growing fear of a road fatality in Keel unless traffic calming measures are immediately installed in the picturesque Achill village.
That was the stark message delivered by Cllr Paul McNamara when he addressed a meeting of the West Mayo Municipal District in Tiernaur on Monday.
The Achill-based politician explained that the road through the village is one of the busiest stretches on the island with hundreds of pedestrians on the road each day.
“There is a 50 kilometre speed limit in place from before the caravan site in Keel, right through the village, but the traffic is not slowing down. The speed limits are not being observed and there’s an accident waiting to happen,” he warned.
The councillor, who has a business in the area, then went on to explain the urgent requirement for traffic-calming measures to be put in place as the holiday season comes into focus.
“There are so many businesses and various entrances to the camp site and the beach in that area and rather than slowing down, in fact cars seem to gain speed as they approach. There is constant activity there and it will become even busier for the next few months with hundreds of people on that stretch daily over the coming weeks and months.
“Keel is an area that people are rightly drawn to and measures to slow the traffic at this part of the road have to be put in place or I’m afraid a fatality will occur,” he added before describing the effect the traffic has had on one local family.
“I was in one house this week where they’ve lost two of their dogs on the road recently. That’s bad enough and we don’t want it to be any worse, so we need to act quickly here.”
Kieran Lynn, senior engineer with Mayo County Council said that any traffic calming measure will require planning and funding which is not available at the moment, but agreed to meet Cllr McNamara on site and see what can be done to address the issue.