Dolores Minogue says momentum is required in the bid to improve safety at all the junctions along the N2 north of Ardee – but has warned the overall process could take up to five years to complete.
Work to install a new filter lane at Cookstown Cross has recently been completed with the area being a renowned block spot for accidents. Many local residents consider the turnoffs along the road between Ardee and Carrickmacross to be deathtraps.
A series of traffic accidents have occurred along the route in recent years. Last month, Louth County Council began work on improving safety at Cookstown Cross but calls are still being made to do the same at Charlestown, the stream of Cookstown, Rahanna and Reaghstown.
Minogue, who raised the issue with Transport Infrastructure Ireland when councillors from the Ardee Municipal District met the body in April, says she is happy with the work done to date but admits there’s much more to do.
“Speaking to those locals who have used it, the majority are delighted with the improvement,” she told ThisIsArdee.ie. “Drivers are no longer sitting ducks and it can only be a good safety mechanism on the road.
“The work at these junctions are needed,” she added. “People who are at danger are not using these turnoffs once a day but three or four times, coming and going from work and home.”
The council assessed the various junctions on the stretch of road and deemed the Cookstown cross the most in need of immediate attention due to the volume of usage. Minogue says that all locals and road users should be catered for – from Reaghstown to Rahanna.
“We got one done this year but it could be a five year project,” she told us. “It might be that long. It’s important that we keep up the momentum and keep going.”
The Ardee-based councillor says that if further progress is not made by February, a public meeting should be held in Aclint where those affected by the dangerous road can have their say.
Already, local man Trevor Kerley has set up an online and offline petition that has garnered over 500 signatures. He intends to present that to representatives from Louth County Council in July.
Minogue says she is delighted to have worked alongside Trevor in working towards making the road safer for all and also expressed her happiness that April’s meeting with the TII helped get the work started.
“I’d like to thank the TII and Louth County Council for listening to my concerns and the work has been carried out in a very short space of time which is good.”
Despite telling ThisIsArdee.ie about his pleasure to see Cookstown cross improved, Kerley admitted he was frustrated that the other two dangerous junctions could take time to rectify.
“They said they hadn’t the finances and the other two were not busy enough to justify it. It’s just a box in the middle of the road with a bit of paint. It shouldn’t be a money issue,” he said.