Naas road safety improvement works won’t take place this year

Work to improve a dangerous road junction outside Naas will not be done before the end of this year despite pressure from local councillors.

Work to improve a dangerous road junction outside Naas will not be done before the end of this year despite pressure from local councillors.

The controversial plan to close Ladytown Cross and thereby prevent access to the dual carriageway between Newbridge and Naas was put forward by Kildare County Council (KCC) well over a year ago, supported by the gardai.

The road connects the Caragh area with Newhall and exits on to the Naas-bound dual carriageway.

The council argued it was too dangerous. Residents protested at the time and one of them, former councillor JJ Power, said the closure would cost€ 500,000 and the junction is used by hundreds of people every day.

Most of the councillors opposed the plan and effectively stopped it but Cllr. Paddy McNamar said the inconvenience amounted to travelling a distance of 3.4kms - which would take 3 minutes.

A majority of councillors instead called for road markings, fixed speed cameras, night lighting and advance warning signs to make the junction safer.

Cllr. Seamie Moore was told at a KCC area meeting that council staff have carried out “an analysis” of the location and are “currently examining all options.” Council official Sonya Kavanagh said that human resources within the council “are extremely constrained” and priority is being given to projects and schemes with 2013 funding attached. Cllr. Willie Callaghan pointed out the issue first arose more than a year ago.

“I’m concerned that’s it’s being put on the back burner because most councillors had a different view to the council.”

Town Manager Eamonn O’Sullivan said there is pressure on resources to ensure that money allocated for projects is drawn down in time.