Gardaí as well as local representatives are greatly concerned about the dangers posed by increasing traffic at the dangerous Halls Junction in Kilcar.
Cllr Niamh Kennedy (Ind) raised the matter at the December meeting of the Municipal District (MD) of Donegal yesterday.
She put down the motion: “That this MD of Donegal takes action and urgently seeks road safety funding for the dangerous junction knowns as Halls Junction, Kilcar.”
She told her fellow councillors that there were eight accidents at the junction in the last year.
“One was pretty serious in the last number of weeks,” she said. “Gardaí have visited the junction and declared how dangerous that they feel it is.
“Kilcar Parish Council also stress the importance of this.”
Cllr Kennedy explained that there was a very steep decline on approaching the junction.
She added that the surface was uneven due to the cumulative effect of work carried out there over the years.
Furthermore, a stop sign at the junction was in a state of disrepair.
“Locals know how dangerous it is but unfortunately it is the tourists who have no idea how dangerous it is,” she said.
“There are large numbers coming into the area and it is increasing year on year.
“Gardaí are stressing how important this is.”
The motion was seconded by Cathaoirleach of Donegal MD, Cllr Noel Jordan (SF). He commended his MD colleague for bringing the motion, saying it was the issue raised most frequently by people in Carrick and Kilcar.
“We all have spoken to the roads engineers on this and we know what needs to be carried out,” he said
“But it needs a significant amount of money. We may need to go again with the begging bowl to the Minister of Transport.”
Cllr Jordan said this was the biggest road project still to be addressed after Fintra Bridge.
“We have been very successful with what we have achieved in roads,” he said. “This would close out the major work that needed to be done in the MD.”
Area Roads Officer Mark Sweeney agreed.
“To me once we get Fintra Bridge over the line, this is our next project,” he said. “We got Pettigo road and Tirconnaill Bridge done.
“We have roads design working on this and we have a lot of work done in the background.
“We are getting into a very major scheme here. It will require some land acquisition.
“We know it is bad. It is the tourists that are coming to the area that are having issues.”
Cllr Kennedy welcomed news that the roads department was looking at a solution for the dangerous junction. She asked Mr Sweeney if he had a ballpark figure.
“Not yet,” he replied. “It is at the preliminary design stage at the minute. But we will need a ballpark figure if we are seeking funds. We are looking at maybe two or three million.”
It is hoped that a request for funding will be put to the Department of Transport in the coming months.
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