Borrisokane traffic lights plan likely to be opposed

Michael O'Meara.
A plan to install traffic lights at a dangerous junction in Borrisokane could lead to traffic delays, according to local councillor Michael O’Meara.

A plan to install traffic lights at a dangerous junction in Borrisokane could lead to traffic delays, according to local councillor Michael O’Meara.

The traffic lights are the preferred solution for traffic calming at the town’s junction between the Birr road and the Ballinderry road. It was one of six options drawn up by the Mid West Road Design Office.

However, Cllr O’Meara has pointed out that lights would cause tailbacks and delays in a town that has 9,000 traffic movements each day.

Saying he was against the idea, Cllr O’Meara claimed it would put ratepayers out of business and would not be supported by business people.

The lights will mean the loss of one parking space, senior engineer Michael F Hayes told area councillors.

Cllr Virginia O’Dowd said that safety concerns had arisen again with the school reopening. Mayor Ger Darcy said the junction was dangerous and the council could not let the matter wait any longer.

Cllr Jim Casey recalled how the council met local people over a similar proposal several years ago and it was opposed. Nothing had been done since, but someone was likely to be seriously injured at the junction, he said.

Area chair Cllr Seamus Morris agreed to hold a special meeting on the issue, and area engineer Peter Fee said the council should aim to reach consensus by the end of October if it wants to make an application for NRA funding.

The other options included changing the junction’s priority and improving signage, a mini-roundabout, realigning the minor road approach and the installation of a compact roundabout. The recommended solution can be accommodated in the existing set up.