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Focus on N2 stretch again after six-vehicle pile up

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A Garda speed checkpoint in operation.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

A car was clocked doing 151km in a 100km per hour zone on the N2 at Reaghstown, Ardee yesterday – before Thursday’s six car pile up between Monaghan and Clontibret, putting further focus on the dangers of the national primary road.

According to An Garda Siochana, who were focusing on catching speeding motorists as part of Thursday’s #ProjectEDWARD, a driver was caught driving over 50km above the limit at Reaghstown yesterday morning – along a stretch of road notorious for being dangerous and a hotspot for accidents, some fatal.

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On Thursday afternoon the N2 north of Ardee – between Monaghan and Clontibret – was closed for several hours after a six car collision that left five people injured. Shortly before that, Gardai had released a list of six notable instances of speeding along various points on major roads since midnight yesterday.

As well as the motorist caught speeding at Reaghstown, other drivers have been caught breaking the speed limit by between 20km and 35km at points along the Malahide Road in Coolock, the M9 at Moone, N3 at Belturbet, N52 at Fordstown and R693 in Kilkenny.

Earlier this month, we revealed that improvements to the N2 north of Ardee will be progressed as a major road project after Monaghan County Council, Louth County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland met to discuss the next step forward from a detailed safety review conducted on the road.

All parties involved in the talks have decided that a 36km stretch of the N2 from north of Ardee to south of the Castleblayney bypass will be progressed as a “major road project”.

In July, Margaret McGonigle (69) from Castlereagh in Bruckless Co. Donegal, daughter Mairead Munday (39) and her friend Rachel Battles (37), both from Ballyloughan in Bruckless, died instantly in the three car collision that occured at Aclint Bridge between Ardee and Carrickmacross.

Of 22 fatal collisions that occurred between on the N2 between Monaghan and Ashbourne between 2005 and 2013, 13 were between Castleblayney and Slane – with nine north of Ardee between the town and Castleblayney. Since January 2016, eight people have died on the N2 between Hunterstown just south of Ardee and Castleblayney.

After the fatal incident in July, it was announced that funding was being made available for an online upgrade to the N2. The rate of fatal collisions on the single carriageway road exceeds the rate seen on similar primary roads.

Already this year, the TII has provided funding for minor safety improvements along the N2 corridor but the conclusion of the aforementioned safety review ‘pointed to the need for significant safety improvements throughout the entire 36km section of national road’. It is understood that long term work will include developing the N2 into a dual carraigeway. Officials have previously said it could take up to 10 years for the entire work to be completed.

Locally, calls have been made for safety improvements at the three right hand turnoffs around Cookstown and Charlestown. It has been the scene of a whole host of near fatal accidents in recent years – and an unquantifiable number of near misses occur on a daily basis. Work has been completed on a new filter lane at Cookstown Cross,  with the area being a renowned block spot for accidents.

Now locals and councillors want similar work done on Charlestown, the stream of Cookstown, Rahanna and Reaghstown.

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