Cllr Fennessy with Karen Darcy and her children at the roundabout.

Safety measures being sought for pedestrians at busy roundabout

The need for pedestrian crossings close to the Andy Connolly Roundabout in Navan to facilitate pedestrian access to the retail park has been highlighted by a local resident.

Karen Darcy from Moatville said she can see the retail park from her house, but it is extremely dangerous to try to walk to it.

"We actually take the car to go to the retail park, because it so dangerous to cross on foot," she said.

"We are lucky we can take the car but not everyone can."

She pointed out that the Applegreen store is her local shop. "I have a 12-year-old son, who would just love to be able to walk to the shop, but we just cannot let him. I'd rather let him walk to Centra which is so much further away.

"The cars are travelling on that roundabout at speed, because they don't expect people to be crossing the road," she said.

"There are lots of young families around who need a safe way of walking to the retail park".

At a meeting of Navan Municipal District last week, Cllr Eddie Fennessy called for pedestrian crossings in the area.

He said pedestrians and service users from the disability respite centre on the Commons Road found it extremely difficult to cross to the retail park.

"The area in general is very heavy with traffic and will become even more so over the coming years. A social housing estate of 70 units and a private housing development of 99 units are currently under construction in the area. A Primary Care Centre was recently granted planning permission nearby and a new bridge over the river Blackwater will divert traffic from North Navan to that side of town.

"The area has also seen a huge increase in pedestrian traffic following the opening of an Applegreen and Burger King at the retail park. "More and more children from the nearby St Patrick's Classical School and local housing estates visit the site regularly. I have serious concerns that a tragic accident will take place if proper pedestrian safety measures are not installed as quickly as possible.

"My motion last week was prompted by an approach from staff of the Disability Respite Centre in Clogherboy. Service users from the centre, my sister Jane being one of them, are almost exlusively confined to wheelchairs. They visit the Mullaghboy Retail Park a couple of times a week. They have genuine concerns for their safety when crossing the Moate Road junction at the roundabout.

"They asked me to request the installation of pedestrian safety infrastructure at that point."

At last week's meeting, Cllr Fennessy was told that in previous discussions with the NTA about installing pedestrian crossings at the approach roads to the Andy Connolly roundabout, they were concerned about installing crossings on dual lane approaches.

It was pointed out that if the dual lane approaches were reduced to single lane, this would have an effect on traffic flow through the roundabout.

He was also told there is currently no funding allocated to providing pedestrian crossings at the roundabout.

Cllr Fennessy said the local authority had a responsibility to ensure the safety of pedestrians accessing local infrastructure.

"This is something I'm not willing to concede ground on."

At his request, council officials agreed to write to Meath County Council's Transportation Section and the National Transport Authority to request a traffic management plan for the area that should include pedestrian safety measures planned for the Moate Road and Andy Connolly Roundabout.