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Council to wait on bypass progress before pedestrian crossing re-think

The local authority say it would not be efficient to consider moving the controversial pedestrian crossing before the Ardee bypass, which may have a profound impact on traffic volumes in the town, progresses.

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The pedestrian crossing at the Bank of Ireland on Castle Street in Ardee has been labelled a danger. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley Photography.

Louth County Council say they will not look at making any adjustments to the controversial pedestrian crossing at the Bank of Ireland on Castle Street in Ardee until after the new western bypass is completed.

Fine Gael councillor Dolores Minogue tabled a motion at last Thursday’s Ardee Municipal District meeting asking the local authority to install low cost measures such as traffic lights at the crossing to help ensure the safety of pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.

The representative also asked that lights or even a roundabout be installed at the junction of the N2 and John Street and William Street on the south side of the town, where a second pedestrian crossing was installed in 2011.

“Not doing any work at the top of the town (south side) is crazy,” Minogue said. “That junction is the busiest junction and I am pushing for funding for that.”

Minogue believes if safety measures cannot be installed, the crossings should be removed altogether.

It’s a road hazard. I don’t know where approval was got to place it there. It’s a danger to public safety.

“It’s a road hazard. I don’t know where approval was got to place it there. It’s a danger to public safety.”
  • Pearse McGeough
  • Ardee Municipal District councillor

However, in response the council said there was no proposal to install traffic lights or a roundabout in Ardee. They added that while the idea of putting traffic lights in at the Bank of Ireland building was under consideration, it would require input from Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

Speaking at the meeting, engineer Colm Lambe said it wouldn’t meet low cost safety measure budgetary requirements. He also said TII would want to wait and see what impact the new bypass would have on traffic volumes in the town before comitting to any new project.

“It would be pre-emptive to do that work before the bypass. This is the N2, you’d have to be in consultation with the TII. They will come back and say we need to see what happens with the bypass first.”

Cathaioirleach Pearse McGeough said that original decision to place the pedestrian crossing just yards from the junction with Sean O’Carroll Street “defied logic.”

“It’s a road hazard. I don’t know where approval was got to place it there. It’s a danger to public safety.”

Jim Tenanty added; “We’ll have to give everybody a hi-vis jacket. This is a health and safety issue. The weight restriction on Sean O’Carroll Street, which hasn’t come in yet, is another factor.

“Everybody is using it. I contacted Google Maps to ask them whether they would consider taking it off.”

On the pedestrian crossing, he added that the lights needed cleaning or replacing and concluded, “Even between 5pm and 6pm now, it’s dark and dangerous. It will cost somebody’s death.”

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