Substantial traffic congestion in Carrick-on-Shannon with five mile tailbacks last Friday is a matter of increasing concern for local councillors.
The meeting of Carrick-on-Shannon Municipal District discussed the matter last Monday.
Cllr Sinead Guckian asked what actions are currently taking place to address the ongoing traffic congestion, particularly from the Sligo direction and on Friday evenings.
Senior Engineer, Michael Flynn said Gardai routinely attend during times of congestion to assist traffic flows.
The bypass scheme is currently suspended by the NRA and will not happen in the short term, he added.
Cllr Guckian said last Friday’s congestion was exaggerated due to the Cannonball but said there are too many congested Fridays.
“It is obvious what time it happens at. We need to have a much bigger discussion because it seems to be getting worse,” she said.
Cllr Enda Stenson said the Gardai were on duty on the bypass for four hours last Friday.
Cllr Guckian said that most Fridays the town needs their presence.
Cllr Sean McGowan said the pedestrian crossing certainly holds up traffic and its location should be looked at.
Cllr Des Guckian said what is needed is a second bridge.
Cllr Sinead Guckian said they have never discussed the pedestrian crossing and perhaps an overhead bridge. “We need to find a solution outside of the (new) bypass,” she said.
Mr Flynn said pedestrian safety has to be a priority but they, along with the NRA, can have alook at it.
He said the Gardai do assist traffic management and it can be raised with them at the Joint Policing Committee.
Cllr Finola Armstrong-McGuire said many people were crossing the bypass at illegitimate points. She also suggessted a pedestrian crossing was needed on Lower Bridge Street.
Cllr Stenson said this was a problem that Leitrim County Council can’t solve, it’s the NRA’s problem and it’s going to get worse in the short term.
Leitrim Division Superintendent, Kevin English has stressed that a number of elements combined to cause the lengthy traffic delays experienced in Carrick-on-Shannon last Friday evening.
Substantial tailbacks of up to five miles were reported by motorists trying to access the town from both Sligo and Longford directions.
Speaking with the Leitrim Observer this week, Superintendent English said that he hopes to meet with the organisers of the Cannonball Supercar road trip to discuss possible ways to alleviate future traffic issues if the event returns to the area.
“I would like to stress that the organisers of the Cannonball (Supercar road trip) co-operated at all times with the gardai. It was just unfortunate that a number of issues arose at the same time, adding to delays,” said the Superintendent.
He said that the fact that Cannonball traffic had to cross the N4, coupled with the bad weather, the huge crowds attending the Cannonball event and the arrival of a wedding to a hotel in the same area of the town, all contributed to delays.
“There was sufficient gardai on the ground and gardai did not permit any collections on the N4 or at the roundabouts. This is something I have prohibited and anyone taking out future collection permits is informed of this when they apply,” he stressed.