Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Roundabout needed at Thompson's Cross

Sabina Reddy, Cllr Rob Power, and David Reel of KCC, at Thompson's Cross this morning.

The best method of resolving the ongoing traffic accident problems at Thompson's Cross would cost €500,000 in building a roundabout, writes Brian Byrne.

That was the conclusion of a meeting between residents, Kildare County Council engineer David Reel, and Cllr Rob Power at the cross this morning, during the height of the morning rush hour.

The junction has been the scene of a number of collisions since it was realigned as part of the works for the completion of the M9 bypass south of Kilcullen. The most recent of many serious incidents was a crash between two trucks, with a car being a third element when it was clipped by one of the trucks subsequently. Two occupants were lucky to have escaped without serious injury if the original crash events had been even half a second different.

A number of warning signs and road surface reminder bumps have been installed on the Old Carlow Road part of the junction, but there is a matter of fast traffic coming from the Athy direction, which often doesn't slow despite similar warning signage. At busy times, motorists coming from the subsidiary road have to make a quick judgement call as to whether they can can move from the stop sign in adequate safety.

The discussions at the meeting ranged from the roundabout — which would have to be provided by Kildare County Council — to extendiong the 60km/h speed limit to beyond the junction with a hope that northbound traffic might slow. A suggestion that the Traffic Corps might come out and show a presence periodically was also made, though with an acknowledgement that this resource has also been diminished over recent years.

Given the squeeze on Council resources for major road works, it was felt that the provision of a roundabout in any reasonable time is currently unlikely. But Cllr Power agreed to pursue the matter further at Council level.

It was also agreed that a list of the most serious crashes at the junction would be compiled and sent to the Council, as it seems no report of it being a dangerous area have been received by the local authority from An Garda. That may be because, as yet, no serious injury has occurred. But local people feel it's only a matter of time before that could change to tragedy.