Fianna Fáil TD for Carlow – Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has welcomed the increase urgency being placed on the implementation of safety measures at the N24 Tower Road Junction from Minister Ross but has warned that improved signing and lining won’t be enough to bring this lethal stretch of road up to standard.
Deputy Aylward commented, “I raised the issue of the lethal Tower Rd Junction on the N24 with Minister Shane Ross during topical issue time in the Dáil last week.
“It is encouraging that an allocation has recently been approved to allow Kilkenny County Council install a new signing and lining scheme at Piltown junction. Additionally, the Minister’s commitment to examine options to close the median crossing at Tower Road junction and the possibility of providing an overbridge are positive signs that the he and his officials are aware of the seriousness of this issue.
“However it must be pointed out that these actions alone will fall well short of the mark in terms of what’s needed to bring this lethal stretch of road up to standard and save lives.
“Anyone who drives this stretch of the N24 knows that danger lurks at every turn. Nine junctions, plus a two-plus-one layout leaves drivers very nervous and confused, and in my opinion warrants further action.
“Tourists when they visit say that cannot understand the road’s design, and locals avoid it like the plague while referring to it as a ‘death valley’.
“What is urgently needed is an overbridge with relief roads on each side to remove the two junctions where most of the fatal accidents have occurred.
“Paint and lining will not save lives. It may help but it is an overbridge that is needed. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) must understand that lives are at risk if further works are not carried out.
“I hope that Minister Ross follows through on his commitment to come and visit the road and meet the people affected by this stretch of road.
“When he does, I have no doubt that he will witness the scale of the problem first hand, and do what is right by the people of Kilkenny and the South East.
“I have consistently raised this issue with TII through monthly letters to them about the dangers of not upgrading this road. I will not stop until the road is improved, and the safety of motorists is enhanced,” concluded Deputy Aylward.