Train tracks to be fenced off with railings
Steel railings are to be erected on either side of a section of open railway line in the centre of Wexford town to improve public safety and stop pedestrians walking on the track.
The move is understood to be is a response to a number of personal injury compensation claims made against Irish Rail by members of the public who tripped and fell in accidents on the tracks.
In addition to the railings, Iarnród Eireann is also planning to introduce trespass prevention surfaces on the tracks themselves to discourage people from walking on them.
The new railing will extend along the tracks from a point beside the car park across from the Talbot Hotel to the location of Wexford Tourist Office.
Borough engineer Sean Kavanagh told councillors that he had a recent meeting with Irish Rail to discuss ongoing issues in relation to public safety across the train track. He said it was agreed that Irish Rail would erect a railing on both sides of the track from the Tourist Office to the end of Paul Quay. The railing will be similar to that already in place in Kilmore Quay - of a high specification and aesthetically pleasing.
Mr. Kavanagh said the local authority had expressed a concern that the railing would not be 'visually intrusive' in the area. He added that it would be installed before Christmas.
Independent councillor Ger Carthy asked about the cost and was informed that Irish Rail were paying for the railing.
When he again asked how much it was going to cost, Deputy Chief Executive Tony Larkin said: 'We don't have an answer to that'.
The engineer said the local authority is proposing to build a footpath on Paul Quay from the Tourist Office to the Talbot Hotel car park to address the issue of safe access in the area and this project will be independent of Irish Rail.
'I want to know how much the footpath is costing. I can't get them in Lady's Island', said Cllr. Carthy.
When no answer was immediately forthcoming, Cllr. Carthy stood up and said he was leaving. 'I can't get answers from the executive. I've had enough of it. I can't get a simple answer', he said, before gathering up his agenda documents and leaving the Council chamber. Mr. Larkin was left with a perplexed look on his face. 'I don't know how things escalated that quickly', he said.
Mr. Kavanagh informed the other councillors that work on the railing would commence next week.