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Cllr Coffey calls for safety measures on “chaotic” Rock Road “rat run”

Emma Coffey
Fianna Fáil councillor Emma Coffey.

The Rock Road in Blackrock is being used as a “rat run” to access Dundalk town, a situation one Dundalk-based councillor has described as “chaotic”.

Fianna Fáil councillor Emma Coffey suggested that without traffic calming measures put in place on the road, it could be the scene of an incident as pedestrians, as well as a increasing number of cars, use the road regularly. Speaking at Tuesday’s Dundalk Municipal District meeting at Town Hall, Cllr Coffey aired her concerns the issue was no longer being considered by council officials.

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“I first raised the issue in September of 2019. It is something that has completely slipped off [the agenda],” she said. “There are ramps at St Francis’ school but I have raised the issue in relation to ramps further down the road.

“I understand there has been work done there recently because of the existence of potholes due to the level of traffic – it’s being used as a rat run, from the old Dublin road to get into town to avoid the Xerox junction.”

The Dundalk South representative said that having travelled on the road herself earlier in the day, she witnessed four “near misses” between cars and pedestrians.

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“There are no footpaths on that road, which is an ongoing issue. The traffic is absolutely chaotic,” she continued. “There has been traffic counts and speed counts done on it but is a traffic calming situation. Is there something that can be done? ”

In response, Senior Engineer Mark Johnston told the meeting that Cllr Coffey’s raising of the issue last September came after the decision was made on 15 Low Cost Safety Schemes to be carried out in 2020. That list was decided on in August last year.

“I don’t think there’s anything planned for this year,” he said. That list went in on September 1 to the Department. It’s probably missed the boat. It will have to wait until this August.”

Johnston said the council can look at the situation between now and the finalisation of the low cost road safety schemes for 2020 list in August.

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