Meeting hears of 'near misses'
Approximately 70 concerned locals attended a public meeting in The Forge, Crossabeg, to air their concerns about the new junction layout at Kyle Cross.
The meeting was organised by local man Darren Kenny who has had a number of frightening experiences while navigating the road since the works that were carried out during the summer.
He feels a roundabout is the best solution to the problem but was told by Transport Infrastructure Ireland that the work carried out met their standards for road quality and safety.
At the meeting, a committee was elected to spearhead any further lobbying on the issue, and Darren's wife Tanya took on the role of secretary. She said she had had her own 'near misses' on the road and had witnessed, on one occasion, a bus overtaking a lorry by driving over the turning box.
She said that she, insofar as she could, had taken to avoiding using the crossroads altogether.
'Ideally, it needs islands or a roundabout or, if not, a reduction of the speed limit coming in and out of the junction and some better signage. There is nothing to tell people of a change to the road layout on the junction. A lot of road users are truck drivers that might not know the road.'
She added that lighting would also help as it would draw attention to the road layout at night.
It was pointed out that up to 12 manoeuvres could be done on the junction at any one time, while traffic proceeded at 100 km/h.
The meeting was attended by three local councillors, Lisa McDonald, Willie Kavanagh and the Mayor, Tony Dempsey.
Cllr McDonald said there was great concern among locals in the room. She acknowledged that the TII had carried out work on the road during the summer on account of its status as a high collision location but she felt that this had not taken into account the local surroundings or the fact that the road split a community in two.
'There is a large number of people going over and back across that junction every day, bringing kids to school, GAA pitches, etc. The work might meet the standard but it's clearly not working considering the amount of people who have had incidents on it. It has to be pointed out that there will be a big increase of traffic on that road once the by-pass opens next year as well.'
She added: 'People are genuinely worried that someone is going to be killed on it.'