January 21st 2012
Funding to improve the road safety measures on the R166 road from Drogheda to Termonfeckin, at both Beaulieu Cross and Newtownstalaban Cross, was welcomed by the Chairman of Louth County Council, Councillor Oliver Tully.
The Decision to apply for funding was a complete u – turn by the County Council officials when they stated at the monthly meeting of the Council on the 17th of October 2011, ‘that they were satisfied with the existing safety provisions and did not recommend any further works’. This report was condemned by the elected members and they requested that the officials revisit the site with a view to suggesting improvements to the existing road safety measures at both crossroads.
Cllr Tully stated that even though he had succeeded in having road safety measures carried out to both crossroads in 2002 and 2009 the fact that accidents were still occurring at these junctions meant that while these road safety measures were very welcome at the time they had now proven to be inadequate and that as a result there was a need for additional road safety measures.
The Regional Road Safety Engineer recently visited the area with a view to re examining the junctions in detail to establish if there were other measures that might be installed to alert drivers to the existence of these junctions. In his opinion any proposed measures should be carried out to both junctions as one scheme. He found that the additional signage that was provided on the minor roads approaching the junctions, while relative good, is not adequate to prevent drivers from driving through the junctions.
The measures that funding was sought for was a proposal to include the provision of 2 pairs of speed cushions or ramps on the approaches to the junctions from the minor roads, with an antiskid surface between the junction and the first ramp. The provision of better public lighting to light the junctions was thought necessary to accommodate the speed ramps with at least 8 to 10 lighting columns. Additional directional signage or barrier boards were proposed opposite the minor roads on the grass verges. The option of forming a ‘T’ junction at each crossroad was to be explored but land at Beaulieu Cross is limited because of adjacent properties. Councillor Tully has also sent a submission to the County Council requesting a reducing in the speed limit in the vicinity of Beaulieu Cross and Newtownstalaban Cross to 60Kph.
Councillor Tully, while happy that funding for these additional safety measures has been allocated by the National Roads Authority, has requested that the views of the local people be sought for their opinion on what they believe might be the cause and the cure for these dreadful accidents occurring at the two junctions.