Danger... Eilish Balfe with daughter Minnie in Ratoath Village.

‘You’re taking your life in your hands’

Concerned Ratoath residents fear there will be a serious accident at village crossroads unless there are safety improvements introduced

Worried Ratoath residents have warned there will be a serious accident at the crossroads at the centre of the village across from SuperValu.

Following a series of near misses at the junction, residents are calling on the council to take immediate action to improve safety.

Eilish Balfe uses that junction several times a day. “I use that junction every day with my daughter and when trying to cross it, is a case of taking your life in your hands,” she says.

“There are no markings on the road and when you step out to cross it, you are likely to get hit.”

She explains that sometimes the only way is to cross to the middle of the road and then to check again, that there is nothing coming on the opposite side before continuing on.

Eilish, the Labour Party local area representative for Ratoath warned that a serious accident will happen if something isn't done.

“There have been a number of near accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. “We know that the Council has significant proposals for a new design layout which are aimed at making the road safer for all.

“These proposals have to go through a public consultation. We don't know for sure at this stage when this is going to happen,” she said.

“In fairness to our local councillors, they've been pushing for improvements for several years, but can we wait indefinitely? Surely some improvements can be made immediately? “

She said the potholes in the surfaces outside Homeworld are a danger to pedestrians, especially to small children and anyone who is infirm.

“It is not clear where the boundary is between the road and the parking and walking space along that stretch.”

Ms Balfe has asked the council to come to the village as a matter of urgency to see what can be done immediately to make the junction safer, while the new design layout is being progressed.

“I'm also calling on the Council to give more definite information on when the new design layout will be put on public display, “ she said.

Another local resident has outlined how he fell off his bike at the cross roads.

He was cycling through the junction at 6am when a black car shot through from the right and he had to swerve and fell off the bike. He had been wearing a reflective jacket and had flashing lights.

“I appreciate people are in a rush to get to work but it’s only a matter of time before something serious happens at the crossroads. A van nearly blindsided me from the road coming up beside the Ratoath Inn a few weeks previous, so I will be taking a different route now.

“With my motorist hat on I don’t know how there are not more collisions at this space.”

Cllr Nick Killian said the junction was part and parcel of a part eight planning application which will be lodged before or shortly after Christmas.

“We want to get planning permission so funding can be granted for the work and it is the priority of the elected representatives to start at the centre of the village.

“This has been on the Municipal Council agenda for the past 12 months and we have the support of the council as regards funding for the project,” he said.

Meath County Council has been approached for comment.