A public petition calling for action on a dangerous junction accessing Kerry’s county GAA grounds attracted over 1,500 signatures in just 24 hours.
Fitzgerald Stadium is on one side of the busy N22 Killarney bypass while the road, on the opposite side, leads to residential areas and sports grounds for local clubs.
The complex and staggered Lewis Road junction allows right and left turns from both sides, and has an island in the centre.
Campaigning locals claim it is the scene of almost-weekly serious accidents, and steadily increasing in recent years.
However, previous public action campaigns have not borne fruit.
Killarney’s new mayor, Niall Kelleher, has launched a further petition, online and at his place of work in the top tourist town.
Mr Kelleher says he is very disappointed with the lack of action by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, and he plans to convey the petition to both the Minister for Transport Shane Ross and the offices of TII.
“This situation is not tolerable and it cannot be allowed to continue,” the mayoral petition states. “On behalf of the undersigned people with an interest in Killarney, I demand urgent action.”
Several Kerry politicians took part in a public road crossing, with other pedestrians last Thursday, to highlight the issue. Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae disclosed one of his trucks was involved in a collision with a car on the bypass route a week previous.
“The big problem with the junction is the island they erected,” he said. “There is nowhere to manoeuvre.”
Killarney, where traffic jams are now a regular feature, has huge problems at several junction problems, Mr Healy-Rae said. He suggested the ideal solution to Killarney’s stalemate is an outer bypass. The project was first proposed and unveiled in 2003 with a then-scheduled completion date of 2009. However, the proposals remain shelved by the road authorities.
New bypass works, meanwhile, are scheduled to commence on the western side of Farranfore before bypassing Killarney and joining the N22 to Cork and the N72 to Mallow at Lissivigeen. Another segment of the scheme is to link Muckross Road to Moll’s Gap with the N22 and the N72 also at Lissivigeen.
Mr Healy-Rae said the proposed building of the route would, most likely, tackle the roundabout problem in Killarney. He said specific plans were ready and the route identified and determined.
“Every roundabout you enter in Killarney, you have to go a different way on them,” he said, further claiming there appeared to be “a lack of common sense” relating to the planning of some junctions.
Responsibility for the roads, which are primary and secondary routes, lies with TII.
Other junctions of concerns include Lewis Road, Madam’s Hill, Woodlawn Road-Clasheen and Coolcaslagh.
The Cleeny Roundabout, meanwhile, linking Muckross Road with the Tralee road is operating at maximum capacity, carrying more than 18,600 vehicles daily.
TII officials have met with council engineers on proposal to improve the Lewis Road junction.
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