Councillor hits out over 'unkind words' on social media after decision to close slip lane

'Few problems' with roundabout proposal for the Royal Oak junction, says area engineer

Carlow Carlow Carlow

The Royal Oak junction

A Bagenalstown councillor has hit out over some "very unkind words" on social media over members' decision to close the slip lane at the Royal Oak junction. 

Local representatives from Bagenalstown Municipal District agreed to close the busy slip lane coming from the Carlow direction on the R448 at the Royal Oak junction during the October meeting. 

Cllr Arthur McDonald addressed this matter at the November meeting and said there were some "very unkind words" on social media over the decision. 

"We are looking at it over a trial period. We are going to have speed limits and we are going to consult with the residents. 

"People thought we were going to bulldoze. I don't think Carlow County Council ever bulldoze," he said. 

Area engineer, Jerry Crowley, agreed and said they would be consulting residents in the next couple of weeks on the decision made by members to close the slip lane and the introduction of reduced speed limits. 

Mr Crowley said there could be a "few problems" with a roundabout proposal for the Royal Oak junction.

He was addressing members at this month's meeting of Bagenalstown MD when he also said that the proposal to close the slip lane coming from the Carlow side on the R448 was "a research project".

He added that there could be a "few problems" with suggestions that a roundabout would be the best solution for the junction. 

Mr Crowley said something would have to be done about the road levels as cars are currently coming up on an incline from the Bagenalstown side. 

He warned that there would be a requirement for the "raising of road levels" - which would be a good bit of work. 

Mr Crowley said he had been talking to Wexford County Council about their roundabout into New Ross - which cost the local authority €800,000.

"Our one would probably cost more than that," he warned. 

The members' decision to close the slip lane prompted strong reaction from the public after it was first reported on Carlow Live with many calling for a roundabout to be installed at the junction. 

With regard to the speed limit reduction, the Council did initially seek approval from councillors in Bagenalstown to proceed with an application for the introduction of "Temporary Speed Limits" on the R448 at the Royal Oak Junction as part of the slip lane closure. 

However, this approval was not necessary as it is only a temporary speed limit - which is an executive function - and therefore members' approval was not required and the speed limit will now be installed as part of the traffic safety measures.

Speed limits will reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h and to 60km/h in places. 

The proposal is "with the intention of reducing the potential risk of vehicle collisions at this junction", the Council says. 

The proposed speed limit reduction will be advertised locally and will be in place within a month. 

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