Mayo County Council have been told to make a section of road along the Greenway in Achill its top priority for funding in 2013 before a serious accident occurs.
An 800 metre section of the R319 at Tonragee, Achill has been described as ‘an accident waiting to happen’ because cyclists and pedestrians have to leave the Greenway and join the public road at this section.
The issue is due to be discussed at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of the Belmullet Electoral Area committee meeting where improvements and widening to the road to incorporate a 2.5m wide Greenway is expected to be approved by councillors.
Achill councillor Micheál McNamara said he welcomed the plans for the road but funding has not yet been made available and called on Mayo County Council to make this section of road a top priority.
“For approximately 800 metres cyclists coming off the Greenway have to cross the road twice before rejoining the Greenway again. A lot of families with children use the Greenway and they are possibly lulled into a false sense of security having come from an exceptionally safe section onto an exceptionally busy and fast road. As far as I am concerned this is an incident waiting to happen.
“I will be asking the Council to make this road their top priority for funding. I want them to ensure that applications for funding go in this year and funding is available for work to begin in early 2013,” he told The Mayo News.
The issue has been raised at a number of Council meetings by various local councillors who are concerned about the safety of pedestrians and cyclist and have called for road improvements similar to what occurred along the N59 at Kilbride, Newport.
Cllr McNamara said he was disappointed that funding was not made available for improvement works in 2012 considering the amount of traffic which uses the Greenway.
“It will be too late for the Council, the NRA and the Road Safety Authority coming to have a look at the road when an accident occurs. That will be too late,” he said.
Cllr McNamara said he was happy the envisaged improvements would make the road safe for pedestrians and cyclists. He also raised issue with existing warning signs at either side of the contentious section of road which he says dazzles drivers when driving at night.
The LED sign lights up when motorists approach warning them to slow down but Cllr McNamara says the lights are too bright and the sensation is similar to being blinded by a full beam on a car. He said there were other signs in the county which were not as bright and asked the council to resolve the issue.
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