A MOTHER-of-three from Slane has described the moment she realised there had been a road accident just yards from her home and just minutes after she waved her children off to school on the bus as ‘stomach churning’.
Aine Loughran who lives at Fennor, just south of Slane Village on the N2 recounts the morning she was left in limbo not knowing whether the school bus her children were travelling on was involved in a collision with a jack-knifed lorry on a dangerous bend near her house.
“As always I waited with my children until they were safely on the bus heading for Slane National School. The bus took off safely but within minutes of going back into the house, I could hear a lot of activity outside.
“When I looked out of the window I could see all of the traffic turning back towards Slane and I immediately knew there must have been an accident,” remembers the concerned mum, adding “I panicked because I didn’t see the bus coming back down the road.
“I rang the school to see if the bus had arrived and it hadn’t. I felt sick at that moment, I got an awful fright. The school offered to call the bus driver but I had the number so I called myself.”
“The bus driver informed me that they had just missed the accident. I was so relieved but what could have happened doesn’t bear thinking about. The lorry crashed within minutes of the school bus passing the same spot. It’s only a minibus so it could have been wiped out.
“There are seven children in total that get picked up from our stop alone. The volume of traffic with so many heavy goods vehicles on this road is out of control and I shouldn’t have to worry every time my children get on the bus.”
Potential for accident
Michele Power has been involved with The Bypass Slane Campaign for ten years having had personal experience of the danger of lorries travelling through the village.
“I was involved in a multi-vehicle pile up in the centre of the village in 2009 and every time I see something like this happening it brings it home that it’s another near miss for Slane.
“While the road remains the way it is, the potential for an accident or fatality is constantly there, everyday we see near misses.
“Until we have a bypass and have a straight road to carry cars over the valley the potential is always there for something fatal to happen.”
A new route for the long-awaited bypass is due to be announced soon according to Cllr Wayne Harding: “The announcement of the new route will be a big milestone in what is an ongoing battle.
“Every single child that goes to Slane School has to enter the N2 to get to school and it’s incredibly dangerous and getting more dangerous by the day.
“If a bypass is built, it will bypass the school and ensure the safety of children that travel to Slane School. That accident happened on a road that is not fit for purpose and if the bypass had been delivered that truck would never have been there. I have no doubt that there will be objections to the new route for the bypass and I think it is a disgrace.
People in Slane are living with traffic conditions that are simply not right.”