10 Aug 2022

Residents fume over 'death trap' potholes on Offaly road

The road was the scene of a fatal accident last year

Residents fume over 'death trap' potholes on Offaly road

The condition of the road entering Clonbullogue village on the R401 between the village and Edenderry

Residents and motorists in North Offaly have expressed concern and anger over the condition of the R401, the main Edenderry to Clonbullogue road.

With the recent onset of severely cold weather, the road surface has disintegrated with large potholes opening up across the entire stretch of road, most notably at a number of sharp bends, causing huge danger to motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists. 

One resident in the area told the Offaly Express: "It has gone beyond a joke at this stage. You avoid one pothole, and you head straight into another. It is an absolute death trap."

Another resident said: "Not only is it dangerous for people using the roads, but peoples' cars are getting destroyed. These potholes are bigger every day, all the way from the Power Station to the village [Clonbullogue]. Something needs to be done."

The road in question has been the scene of a number of serious crashes in recent months, including a fatal one on September 5, 2020. A young motorcyclist died in a collision near the Power Station.

A number of weeks later on September 29, on the same stretch, a man was hospitalised as a precaution after a three-car crash. 

Councillors in the area echo the concerns of locals with Fianna Fail's Eddie Fitzpatrick saying: "The roads in our municipal district are certainly a concern for everyone and an issue that needs to be addressed.

"I am constantly receiving calls from the public about the state of the roads and this is coming from all areas. I presume the answer is extra funding but we seem to get the same reply; budgets are limited."

Cllr Fitzpatrick also pointed to specific concerns about roads around the Ballycommon area, describing them as "deplorable."

Fine Gael councillor Noel Cribbin added: "Due to the recent heavy frost and rain, the potholes have reappeared. I have noticed it myself in several areas and have reported them. I will do likewise for the Shaen area [Between Edenderry and Clonbullogue]."

Cllr Robert McDermott said: “The state of the Edenderry to Clonbullogue road was raised by myself at a Municipal District meeting before Christmas. The Council were made aware of the concerns of the local residents. This road needs major work to be carried out as a priority.

"The presence of potholes that have appeared since the recent cold snap has also been reported to the Council and they have six men covering the North Offaly Area at present working daily to repair them in line with the current Covid 19 guidelines.”

Offaly County Council has been contacted for comment on this story.

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