Call to lower N3 speed limit at Whitegate

Calls to reduce the speed on part of the N3 from 100km per hour to 50 were made before a tragedy occurs.

Cllr Shane P. O’Reilly led the calls at the Ballyjamesduff Municipal Meeting last week in relation to the area of road between the shop at Whitegate and the N3 roundabout, which he regards as extremely dangerous.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday, he highlighted three minor accidents that had taken place on that small stretch of road, warning: “There is going to be a tragedy.”

He proposed a motion calling for further traffic and pedestrian safety measures at Whitegate/Edenburt Crossroads.

The Mullagh councillor also spoke of the need for extra parking for bus users at both Bus Éireann stops on either side of the road.

Due to the lack of available spaces, bus users are forced to park on the hard shoulder either side of the road. “There were 23 cars parked on the hard shoulder the other day. We need to make the car park bigger.”

Cllr O’Reilly also pointed out the dangers students and other users face when crossing the road to get onto the bus or to reach their car.

Senior Executive Officer, John Donohoe, responded to the motion outlining the difficulties they would face if attempting to reduce the speed limit.

“The council avoids lowering speed limits on national roads when at all possible,” he said.

He continued to say that the road does not drive like a 50km zone and therefore there is a risk that road users would not abide by the decrease.

Mr Donohoe addressed the issue of car parking stating that the council does not own enough land surrounding the current parking area in order to be able to extend it. However Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and Bus Éireann have both agreed to move the bus stops closer to the N3 roundabout in order to make the road safer for both bus passengers and other road users.

The situation is currently under review.