Limerick junction tightening won’t be as restrictive once works are finished, says council official

A senior council official in Limerick has confirmed that the junction tightening works, which are part of the Father Russell Road Active Travel project, will not be as restrictive once the work is finished.

Narrowing junctions is a proven road safety measure, but residents who were annoyed by the construction works contacted councillors.

At a council meeting today, a number of councillors spoke for the motorists who complained, while a council official confirmed that the junctions would not be as restrictive once the works are finished and the works are within national standards.

The official said the kerbs need to be adjusted, and construction barriers and cones will be removed once the work is finished.

The motion, in the name of Cllr Elisa O’Donovan, who is also the Social Democrats’ candidate for directly elected mayor, said: “I will move at the next Meeting of the Metropolitan District of Limerick that this Council will widen the junctions along the Father Russell Road active travel scheme.”

As reported yesterday, ahead of the meeting, asked Cllr O’Donovan would she be withdrawing the motion given the council’s response, but she said: “No, we will discuss it at Monday’s meeting, but I am happy with the response but just want to get clarification on junctions crossings for cyclists and pedestrians also at Monday’s meeting as they are not safe at the moment.”

But at the meeting this morning, Cllr O’Donovan restated the issue with the narrowness of the junctions for motorists and said the issue would not be resolved by the work being completed as planned.

Cllr Dan Mc Sweeney (FG), Cllr Daniel Butler (FG), and Cllr Sharon Benson (SF) supported her.

Cllr Benson said that junction tightening needs to be reviewed on a wider scale and not just with this project.

Cllr Seán Hartigan (Green Party) was the only councillor to speak against the motion. He said that councillors were acting like they are engineers and trying to claim that the junction wasn’t within standards when the design was well within the standards of the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.

Tara Flanagan, a senior executive engineer with Limerick City and County Council, confirmed that the design of the junction is within the standards set down by the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.

She said that the issue of narrowness at the moment relates to the construction works and will be resolved once the works are finished.

In an email to councillors, officials said that the work at the junctions where the tightening is taking place is anticipated to be completed later this month.

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