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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Call for changes to Newtown Rd layout at Coill Aoibhinn.

Coill Aoibhinn is an estate of about 60 houses on the edge of Wexford along the Newtown Rd. This road is the main road from the town to the N11 & N25. It leads to the hospital, race course and the new Head Quarters for the Department of Environment. On a typically sunny South East afternoon the accompanying video shows how difficult the entrance can be. Residents have huge difficulty entering their estate by car especially from the town side. Vehicles must take a right hand turn at the entrance. They must cross a white line (which is illegal) and also cross oncoming traffic which has just left the National primary route. The entrance to the estate is just yards inside a 60Km/hr zone. A car is a basic necessity in this estate. Residents need to drive the 2 miles to town as there is no public transport. Children regularly cross the road to go to a local shop at a filling station about 300M away.

I asked raised the matter at Wexford Borough Council. Wexford County Council who are responsible for this regional road to look into the matter. My motion was supported by the council. I support residents who believe that a filter lane should be provided. In the accompanying video watch the car trying to turn into the estate at the end. It takes about 25 seconds to turn safely. When the car is stationary other cars traveling behind it are forced to pass by moving into the yellow margin. This is where cyclists should be. In the 133 seconds of the video over 40 cars pass the entrance.
Motorists do not expect when they are accelerating away from town to have to brake because a car in front is slowing down on the inside of your lane, hugging the white line. There is no sign to indicate a turn, lighting is poor along the road and most important of all there is no provision for pedestrians to cross the road. Residents are rightly fearful of the possibility of a very serious accident. Already a number of minor accidents have occurred here. Permission has been given by the local authority already for another housing development to use the present entrance. I look forward to hearing back from officials as to how they believe they can resolve the matter.

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