Former Labour city Councillor Tom Shortt witnessed the immediate aftermath of the collision
A FORMER Limerick councillor has said a recent accident just off the N20 outside the village of Croom is “proof” that a motorway between Limerick and Cork is needed.
Former Labour city Councillor Tom Shortt witnessed the immediate aftermath of the collision between the village of Croom and the N20 junction.
He said that an accident he witnessed “demonstrates how a motorway linking Limerick and Cork is needed urgently for road safety reasons”.
“We tend to talk about the need for a motorway in terms of cutting the time it takes to make the journey and the benefits to the economy, but accidents like the one on Saturday are proof that there is a strong case to be made that the existing road is extremely dangerous for those living along it and for the people using it due to the speed and volume of traffic,” said Mr Shortt.
“It was shocking to witness the accident and to realise in the aftermath that the two sisters in one of the cars had just reached their family home and were about to turn into their drive when the collision occurred.
“According to family members and neighbours, who were quickly on the scene, this is a constant hazard for residents, who are very vulnerable when waiting for a gap in the traffic to turn off the road.”
Mr Shortt was told by local people that “there have been many similar accidents and near misses along this stretch”.
“The accident happened shortly after the point where the route switches from being a dual carriageway with slip roads to a national primary road with oncoming traffic and numerous junctions.
“These changes in the standard, of the route getting wider, then narrowing suddenly, are hazards that can only be removed by means of a motorway running all the way between the two cities,” said Mr Shortt.
He added that “rescue services were quickly on the scene”.
“Fortunately while it was a serious impact and both cars were written off, the occupants were taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from shock and appear not to have suffered serious injury.”
The former councillor was travelling the road when returning from a Labour conference in Cork, and said that “the Labour Party had consistently advocated that the Limerick to Cork motorway project should be a national priority, not only to benefit the economy but to improve road safety and the quality of life for residents along the route.”