independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

'Accidents are not being recorded' at Stagmount

A FAILURE to record accidents on a dangerous section of road close to Rathmore is seriously hindering the chances of an upgrade, a Kerry County Council engineer has claimed.

A FAILURE to record accidents on a dangerous section of road close to Rathmore is seriously hindering the chances of an upgrade, a Kerry County Council engineer has claimed.

A number of accidents have occurred on the speedy section at Mossey's Turn west of Stagmount Junction, yet official statistics reveal just one minor accident recorded in the area and that was four years ago. This is despite the fact that gardaí are aware of three recent accidents, all considered serious.

Senior Executive Engineer Padraic said the lack of official statistics is affecting the possibility of improvements by the National Roads Authority (NRA) but added that there was hope as the section was currently being investigated by the NRA's safety section, while the council has also reviewed the situation.

"The key thing is that accidents are not being recorded," Mr Teahan stated.

"We will provide any support and will hopefully get to the bottom of the statistics - I'd be hopeful over the next number of weeks as the NRA will have discussed the matter with the gardaí and, once cause and a solution is identified, we will give our full support," he added.

The issue was raised by a deputation of local residents at last week's area council meeting during which one concerned father revealed how his daughter had experienced a narrow escape.

"My daughter had a very close call there two years ago, the back of the car passed her out and spun on the road," John Coakley stated.

"At least 12 to 14 people have crashed there and that incident was the third one that month," he continued, adding that a further incident had occurred only last week.

"I put it to ye, some morning, some day luck is going to run out, there will be a truck on one side of the road and we are going to call a hearse," he added.

The deputation was called by Cllr John Sheahan who said that local mechanics had referred to at least 12 incidents in the area this year alone. He added that speed, combined with a bad bend and a steep fall-off were the concerns and revealed and he has written to the NRA and the garda inspector in Kanturk over the matter.

All councillors gave their support including Cllr John Joe Culloty who said he also knew of people who had close calls. "The camber of the road is an issue and a little frost or wetness adds to the issue," he added.

Cllr Danny Healy Rae said that residents were simply looking for a continuation of the work started 10 years ago which had seen an improvement from the Bridge Bar but had stopped before the relevant section.

Cllr Brendan Cronin said the situation was similar to Heffernan's Bend in Milltown, adding that it had to get serious recognition before a death occurred while Cllr Michael Gleeson said that someone very close to him had had a very serious accident.

A letter is to be sent to the NRA highlighting the council's serious concerns over the matter.

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