THE NRA have ignored the recommendations of the Tullamore Transportation Study in relation to a roundabout on the New Road, instead allowing funding only for the upgrade of the traffic lights at the junction.
At Monday’s quarterly meeting of Tullamore Area Committee, Town Engineer Paul Devaney, told members that the NRA had recommended the retention of the signalised junctions at both the top of the New Road and at Kilcruttin.
The specially commissioned Tullamore Transportation Study had recommended roundabouts at both these junctions.
Cllr Dervill Dolan said commissioning the survey had cost the council €100,000 and now the NRA were recommending only the upgrading of existing lights.
“Just because the NRA is prepared to pay for it, if it is not the right thing to do, then we shouldn’t spend the money no matter whose money it is,” fumed Cllr Dolan.
He asked had the council “spent money foolishly” getting a consultants report if the recommendations were not going to be paid for by the NRA.
“The New Road junction is a total disaster coming from Killeigh. The council left adequate room for a roundabout. I’d be pressing ahead with it. The NRA are not driving that junction every day,” suggested Cllr Tommy McKeigue.
“Everyone knows what needs to be done. Maybe the NRA could meet with us,” said Chairperson Molly Buckley.
“The NRA are at odds with the traffic management plan. Who has ultimate jurisdiction?” asked Cllr Danny Owens.
“He who pays the piper calls the tune,” said Town Manager Declan Kirrane.
“The NRA will decide what we will do as they are going to pay for it. We have gone back to the NRA with recommendations from the consultant,” said Mr Devaney. He said he would take the councillors concerns back to Offaly County Council’s Roads section.
On the upside, the NRA confirmed that lights were going to be put in place at the roundabout at Scally’s on the Arden Road. The roundabout has been the cause of much concern and has been described as “an accident waiting to happen” on many occassions due to a blind spot.
A raised table will also be put in place at Cox’s Bridge after complaints of poor visability.
Also €400,000 has been allocated for cycle lans between Tullamore and Tubber.