Concerns raised over ‘death trap’ junction again

Concerns have once again been raised over the potential danger for motorists at the junction at Killynagher on the N87 between Belturbet and Ballyconnell.

Whilst welcoming investment on road improvements made to the route, completed last month, Independent councillor Brendan Fay still described the section as a “death trap”.

His motion was supported by Fianna Fáil’s John Paul Feeley who also described the junction as an “old chestnut” in terms of how long it has been on the cards for necessary intervention.

He said improvements implemented in recent years had failed to address the problem. “We don’t seem to be able to get it right.”

Peter McVitty (FG) recommended the installation of flashing lights on approach to warn motorists, and said there had been complaints from lorry drivers over “so many near accidents”.

There was support too for the motion from Fianna Fáil councillors Sean Smith and Patricia Walsh.

Senior Engineer for the area, Paul Mulligan, said that the matter had been referred to the road design section.

He noted that warning lights would only be effective for so long, eventually becoming “ineffective overtime”.

He said that the road design team had been asked to “come up with options” that may require realignment to take the corner section on the Belturbet side out. “We have ground there. We’ll look for a better option for the junction.”

Cllr Fay acknowledged that flashing signs were only a “short term” option. Even still he supported the idea, saying he’d “hate to think” an accident may occur between now and when anything is done.

“It’s lethal coming out from that road, you’re taking your life into your hands.”

Speed measures at Milltown

A second motion by Cllr Fay to have additional speed management bumps and crossings installed at Milltown village also received support.

He said at present cars approaching from Belturbet are already within the village environs, passing the busy community centre and playground, before traffic management measures are encountered.

Though Cllr McVitty admitted to not being a “lover” of speed bumps, he accepted there was a need for some form of safety intervention. There was support too from Cllrs Smith and Feeley, the latter welcoming the work done by the community in the village. “They deserve our support,” he said.

Mr Mulligan said speed bumps weren’t always the solution and “consistency” was important.

Again he committed to having road design examine the route, but also suggested enhanced policing of the area would assist in reducing speeding motorists.