Despite passing a motion to introduce a weight restriction on vehicles using Sean O’Carroll Street last year, the issue has not yet come before the Joint Policing Committee – meaning buses and lorries remain free to use the narrow residential street to pass through.
In November 2015, local councillors at Ardee Municipal District level voted that a weight restriction be put in place on the road which links the centre of town to the N33 Link Road.
Six months later in May 2016, Louth County Council proposed their intention to place a weight restriction on vehicles using the street – namely large commercial vehicles and private coach services which local residents believe should not be using the street. On certain stretches, the street is only wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time.
However, despite the local authority passing the proposed weight restriction, there is still no weight restriction signage on the road. And that is because the weight restriction has not yet been brought before the Mid-Louth Joint Policing Committee.
That committee meets every three months and it includes polticians, local Gardai and representatives from local bodies. The matter needs to be discussed by that body as, with no traffic wardens in Ardee, it will ultimately come down to Gardai to police any restriction put in place.
Several representations have been made to the local authority regarding the matter over recent months and years.
Users of the St John of God services live on the street and an incident last year when an ambulance got stuck on the road as heavy vehicles tried to make their way through left locals angered that the route is being used as a main way into and out of the town. Other residents fear for the safety of their young children as large vehicles use the street regularly.
Announcing the proposed introduction of a weight restriction on the street in May 2016 as per the Road Traffic Acts 1961-2014, the local authority wrote:
“Notice is hereby given in accordance with Section 95 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961 as amended that in order to regulate traffic and in the interest of road traffic safety, Louth County Council propose to place a weight restriction on vehicles using L5229 Sean O’Carroll Street, Ardee, Co. Louth.
The proposed weight restriction will be 7.5 tonnes maximum.”