RESIDENTS who are “deeply concerned” about the danger posed to motorists travelling through Holycross are calling for essential safety measures to be carried out immediately to reduce the risk of more serious accidents occurring.
A deputation from the Holycross area told councillors at a Kilmallock area meeting that there have been six serious accidents reported in the area this year alone. There have been more collisions, they said, which have gone unreported.
The group also explained that one local man’s fence had been destroyed nine times as a result of various road incidents.
The meeting heard how the R512 or Bruff line at Holycross has two road junctions within 50 metres of each other. There are no turning lanes or public lighting at either of these junctions.
During the presentation, it was outlined how there are three local roads from Lough Gur, Meanus and Herbertstown/Knockainey which junction with the R512 at Reardon’s pub and the Ink Bottle lodge “making it a very busy and dangerous junction”.
In addition there is a public house, shop and large soccer club located at one of these junctions. The meeting heard how the soccer club caters for three adult teams and up to 240 youth members as well as spectators which include children and parents.
“There is no public lighting along the two junctions. It is a major safety issue for the children,” said Kate Hayes who was joined at the meeting by fellow local residents, Mary McGrath, Francy O’Loughlin and Paddy Leo.
“It is probably one of the only sports grounds in County Limerick without public lighting in the parking area, so that is probably one of the most immediate actions that needs to be taken,” she added.
The presentation also featured video footage which was taken from the perspective of a motorist travelling in each direction of the junctions.
The group are calling for the improvement and upgrading of the junction between the R512 Bruff line and the L1502 Knockainey/ Herberstown road at the Ink Bottle Lodge and the introduction of safety measures in order to minimise accidents.
The meeting heard of how the cats’ eyes on the road have been worn away and of how motorists’ vision is obstructed by overgrowth on all approach roads to both junctions.
“It is something that we are very concerned about,” said Ms Hayes.
“We would like to see the sightlines improved. Public lighting is maybe one of the easier things to do and it would help, no question, but I think the sightlines are the most crucial element.”
The meeting heard that a small piece of land may be required for alterations to sightlines and while this land is in private ownership, the owner supports these changes in the interest of personal and public safety.
Ms Hayes explained that there is overgrowth that could be taken away immediately to improve visibility.
The meeting heard that any work done in Holycross - and the projects they have in mind for the coming year – have been financed by the community.
The meeting further heard that the group’s attempts to include members of the community on their Tidy Towns initiative have been seriously curtailed as a result of the dangers on the road.
“Because of the dangers on the road, we have had to refuse help and support from the local soccer club and scout group who offered to do a clean-up with us,” said Ms Hayes.
Cllr Bill O’Donnell who drives the road from Bruff to Herbertstown every day and turns right at the junction said he always checks his rear view mirror approaching the bend to see if there is someone coming behind him.
He said if there is someone coming behind him, he approaches the junction “in an entirely different fashion”.
“If I got around the bend and there is somebody coming behind me at 80 miles an hour and there is somebody in front of me turning right, I’m goosed,” said Cllr O’Donnell.
“It is lethal. It is absolutely lethal,” he said.
Members commended the deputation on their presentation which was described as one of the best to have been presented at the local area meeting. The councillors are to discuss the matter, and will continue to liaise with the group.