Residents of Sean O’Carroll Street are demanding immediate action be taken to impose the weight restriction on the road passed by Louth County Council over 12 months ago – with continued use of the narrow way by large vehicles and heavy volumes endangering lives.
The weight restriction – which would stop vehicles over 7.5 tonnes using the route into and out of town – was proposed way back in May 2016 and was passed at local Ardee Municipal District and Louth County Council level last summer. However, no signage has been erected to show this nor has the route been policed.
At May’s meeting of the Ardee Municipal District committee, councillors heard that the weight restriction by-law had not been put in place and was in fact “on hold.”
The local authority’s senior executive engineer Sean O’Reilly told the councillors that the by-law cannot be enforced until problems are ironed out – issues that include the ability for large vehicles gaining access to the Ashwalk.
“It’s on hold until we have an alternative route for the HGVs coming into Ashwalk,” he said. “That’s what the problem is. Turning left and right off the main street into Ashwalk has proven difficult over the last couple of years, hence coming straight up Sean O’Carroll Street.”
The wait goes on for local residents and Independent councillor Jim Tenanty has echoed the concerns of residents who live on Sean O’Carroll Street.
“I met with residents of Sean O’Carroll Street and they are very angry at no weight restriction or enforcement on the road,” he told ThisIsArdee.ie. “As I sat in the kitchen two buses, four large lorries and a constant flow of traffic passed adding to the anger of the family present.
“They tell me of the constant road rage, blocking in and abuse they endure,” Tenanty continued. “The pedestrian crossing at the Bank of Ireland is adding to the danger of the volume of traffic using this road and it endangers the pedestrians using this controversial crossing. Residents demand that urgent action be taken as living on this road has become a nightmare.”
At previous meetings, O’Reilly confirmed that the Infrastructure section of Louth County Council had not received word that weight restriction signage had to be erected on the street whilst he also warned councillors that when the by-law is imposed it would bring with it fresh problems.
The issue is large delivery vehicles and HGVS having to turn from the main street into the Ashwalk to deliver to Lanney’s SuperValu and other premises. At the moment, larger commercial vehicles use Sean O’Carroll Street to come in from the Link Road and they can drive straight onto the Ashwalk.
Collins Coaches use Sean O’Carroll Street as a route to and from Ardee for their Dublin direct commuter service.
Should the weight restriction be passed, with no traffic wardens in Ardee, it will ultimately come down to local Gardai to police any restriction put in place. Like the parking by-law, Gardai are required to enforce penalties on people guilty of parking over the one and two hour limits.
Sean O’Carroll Street is so narrow in most places that only one vehicle can pass at a time. Locals have aired their anger in the past that ambulances struggle to make calls to home and people with children have expressed fears for their safety in the area.