'It's going to cause more accidents,' slip lane at Royal Oak junction to be closed off

The decision was made by councillors on Tuesday evening

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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The new layout of the Royal Oak junction is outlined below

Members of Bagenalstown Municipal District have agreed to close the busy slip lane coming from the Carlow direction at the Royal Oak junction.

Area engineer, Jerry Crowley, brought the proposal before members at the October meeting of the MD on Tuesday evening. 

Funding of €15,000 has been received for the low cost improvement works which aim to reduce the number of accidents at the junction.

Mr Crowley said: "We got some money to implement traffic safety measures." The funding is to put up signage, put up temporary barriers and the labour costs. 

An analysis by the local authority found that cars coming from Bagenalstown looking to turn towards Carlow are seeing vehicles in the slip lane and are pulling out and turning right. 

However, the drivers are not seeing cars still on the R448 and heading for Kilkenny as the oncoming vehicle is hidden behind the car turning off for Bagenalstown. 

This is what's causing a lot of the traffic accidents, Mr Crowley said. 

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Cllr Arthur McDonald said on a "trial purpose" he agreed to "run with this one" but reiterated his call for a roundabout to be installed at the junction. 

However, Cllr Michael Doran said he was "not convinced this is a good idea at all" but that he would not stand in the way of the proposal as he was not an engineer. 

He added that it was his view that the proposal wouldn't work "not at the current speed limit of 100km/h on that road".

"It's inevitably going to cause more accidents. It won't work with that speed limit. I don't think it'll work. A roundabout is the only thing that will work," he said.

Cllr Doran argued that a car going down the R448 could suddenly decide to turn left at the junction for Bagenalstown and the vehicle behind would hit them. 

Cllr Willie Quinn agreed with members that a "roundabout is the safest way" while Cllr Andy Gladney said it was "trial and error".

"If it helps to save a life, it's worth a trial on a short term basis."

The works on the new junction layout are expected to be carried out in late October after members approved the proposal.