MAYO County County have confirmed they will help facilitate CIÉ and Irish Rail in any changes to the railway crossings but stressed that they are not their responsibility.
Mr Joe Beirne, Senior Engineer for the Council, was responding to a question from Cllr Michelle Mulherin at the roads and transportation Strategic Policy Meeting regarding the legal action brought by Irish Rail against people living near the level crossing at Knockapunta near Castlebar. Irish Rail brought a prosecution against local people for not closing the level crossing gate, but Cllr Mulherin claimed that this road was busy, the crossing should be automated and the Council should ask Irish Rail to carry out the necessary work.
However, Mr Beirne said that the railway had paramount rights over the line and the Council were not responsible for anything inside the boundary line. He said a study of the main crossing lines was being carried out by Irish Rail and if the case was put forward for changes they would facilitate them. He said the Council were responsible for the signs at a crossing and, if asked to provide more signs, they would.
Mr Tony McNulty, Senior Engineer said if the Council asked Irish Rail to change their crossing, the bill would be sent to the local authority and Irish Rail were in a win-win situation. He added that up to 19 crossings could be closed when the N26 is completed.
Mr Beirne also added that the public were obliged to close the gates after them to avoid serious accidents from occurring.