The subject of the controversial pedestrian crossing at the Bank of Ireland on Castle Street will be discussed once again in three weeks time as Louth County Council will be pressed to sanction it’s immediate removal.
Independent councillor Jim Tenanty has tabled a motion for the April meeting of the Ardee Municipal District meeting asked council officials to immediately be removed from the Castle Street crossroads where it joins Market Street, Sean O’Carroll and the Ashwalk.
Tenanty believes that the removal of the crossing should be considered urgent by the local authority and told ThisIsArdee.ie that his motion comes after more near misses – as recently as today – at the location where there have been accidents involving pedestrians in the past.
Last May, local councillors were told by now former Louth County Council engineer Gerry Kelly that the National Roads Authority would be asked to fund the move. Tenanty himself took to the streets last April and spoke to 286 people in 110 premises – predominantly encompassing business owners and staff – and via a straw poll concluded that 285 of those polled wanted the crossing moved. Only one did not.
Of those, 230 wanted the pedestrian crossing moved north, and 26 said south. 29 did not specify either but still wanted it moved somewhere. The likelihood that it would be moved north was almost the most likely outcome. Re-installing the crossing south would bring it closer to the busy Kells Road turn off on Castle Street – already a dangerous crossing for pedestrians.
Moving it north would likely only be by a matter of yards – to O’Callaghan’s butchers perhaps. This would leave sufficient vision for drivers and pedestrians in both directions and remove any danger from cars turning out onto the current crossing from Sean O’Carroll Street.
No decision on that has been made. Tenanty wants the issue back on the agenda and new council engineers to follow up Kelly’s promise to look into NRA funding.
Both Tenanty and cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue have raised the issue of the danger of the pedestrian crossing numerous times in the past and Tenanty has been particularly vocal about the crossing at John Street which has also been the scene of several accidents in recent times.
In 2015, the council spoke of the difficultly involved in finding somewhere else to put the pedestrian crossing along the main street. They also referred to the substantial cost involved in relocating it, meaning any prospect of change was not on the immediate agenda. The crossing originally cost €11,000 to install.
Tenanty’s motion is asking the council to remove it – regardless of any proposals to move it elsewhere.