Christopher Fitzgibbon: ‘I can’t drive to the shop, post office or church’
A YOUNG motorist says speed ramps haven’t just slowed him down driving into a village – they have stopped him completely.
Christopher Fitzgibbon, from Galbally, made page one of the Limerick Leader and appeared on Joe Duffy last October after his car got stuck on a speed ramp outside the national school. Now, he says, he can’t drive into his local village at all due to the new ramps that have been erected in recent weeks.
Christopher, who is passionate about cars, drives a Volkswagen Passat which he has lowered.
“Every entry point into the village is covered now. There was one ramp initially outside the school and now there are two each on the Tipperary and Mitchelstown roads out of Galbally. They have blocked every road into my local village with these big speed ramps that my car can’t get over. We have an additional four speed ramps in Galbally now. The new ramps have only gone up in the last few weeks,” said Christopher, who unexpectedly came upon one set of them.
“The first evening they put them up they didn’t put up any bollards or anything to say that there was council works going on. When I came on them they were completely invisible on the road - no markings whatsoever and no signage. I saw them at the last second and got stuck up on top of it. I went over the first one because I didn’t see it but I landed up on top of the second one. It pulled my hitch off.
“I managed to get off of it because there were two of us and we managed to move the car off it. I was trapped because I still had to get back over the other one. I had to call some lads I knew to come over and help with getting my car back over,” said Christopher, who is so frustrated that he emailed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the matter.
He says his Passat passed its NCT test three days before the accident, pays his road tax of over €500 and insurance of almost €2,000. Last year, it was nearly €6,000.
“I feel discriminated against because I’m being classed as a young boy racer but I pay my motor tax, my insurance, have my NCT but yet I can’t go to my local shop, post office, pub, church. My cousin’s confirmation is on in April, I can’t even get into that,” said Christopher.
Asked if he could crawl over the ramps at very low speed, he said he couldn’t.
“I couldn’t without damaging my car. The ramps are six inches. The lowest point of my car is four and a quarter inches,” said Christopher, who has contacted the council but says his appeal to lower or remove the ramps has fallen on deaf ears. There was no response to a media query to Limerick City and County Council at the time of going to press.
Christopher says he can’t drive over the new speed ramps in Caherconlish either. “There are lots of other lads like me who have been seriously hampered by this,” he concludes.