Tuesday 23 April 2019

Accident prone junction set for resurfacing improvements

However, official confirms roundabout will not be built until 2021 at the earliest

Emergency services at the scene of a collision between two lorries at Ballymacquirke Cross earlier this month. Photo: Adrian Grajewski.
Emergency services at the scene of a collision between two lorries at Ballymacquirke Cross earlier this month. Photo: Adrian Grajewski.

Bill Browne

A senior Cork County Council official has confirmed that road surfacing improvements works will take place next month at a North Cork road junction once branded "one of the most dangerous in Munster, if not the whole country".

Concerns about traffic safety and the poor quality of the road surface at Ballymacquirke Cross on the main N72 road near Banteer were once gain raised earlier this month following a serious crash at the junction between two articulated lorries. 

Following the crash, local county councillor Bernard Moynihan (FF) penned a letter to the Council's director of roads Padraig Barratt urging the authority to take "immediate action" to improve safety at the junction. 

As previously reported in However, while Mr Barrett said that these preliminary works were due to start on site in the coming days, it could take at least two years before the roundabout was operational. 

"The scheme will require land acquisition and planning. In fact, surveying is due to start on site in the coming days. This is a significant project and will not be delivered until 2021 at the earliest," wrote Mr Barratt. 

Cllr Moynihan, who along with other councillors has consistently lobbied for new safety measures at the junction, said locals and motorists using the N72 and adjacent roads could not afford to wait for another two years. 

"My concern is that there is another serious accident waiting to happen at the crossroads. While I am pleased progress is being made on the roundabout scheme, I believe we have to urgently examine measures that can be implemented immediately to make this junction safer," he said. 

He suggested to Mr Barratt that, in the short-term, speed ramps should be installed on the N72 to slow down traffic and that traffic feedback signals and improved signage be put in place on all approach roads. 

In response, Mr Barratt confirmed that surfacing improvement works would be undertaken at the junction under the 2018 Capital Works scheme during the week commencing Monday, April 22.

"We have also asked TII's signage section to review the signage on all four approaches, particularly the advance 'Junction Ahead' warning signs, to assess their appropriateness in terms of size, location and placement for visibility purposes," said Mr Barratt.

"We have also asked them to consider any additional signs to highlight the presence of the upcoming hazardous intersection."

Welcoming Mr Barratt's comments. Cllr Moynihan said it was important the authority did all in its power to improve safety at the junction. 

"Any measures that reduce the risk of accidents at the junction must be welcomed. In the meantime, I will be keeping a close eye on the progress  of the roundabout scheme to ensure it is in place as soon as possible," he added.