Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) confirmed last night that its road safety engineers are discussing several options with Cork County Council engineers in relation to potential safety upgrades to the Waterloo junction, just north of Cork City, following an accident there on Monday in which an American couple were injured in a three-vehicle crash.
The accident bore many similarities to a crash at the same junction last September, which claimed the lives of James Baker, 62, from Indiana, and Peggy Sue Adams, 59, from Ohio. They were killed when their southbound hire-car was in collision with a truck as they turned right at the Waterloo junction. It is believed they were following sat-nav directions to Blarney.
The couple injured in Monday’s accident were also turning right. It’s believed they were also following sat-nav directions to Blarney.
Third Officer with Cork City Fire Brigade, Gerry Myers, who responded to both accidents, said junction safety must be reviewed, especially given that the safer exit to Blarney is just two miles further south.
Damian Boylan, a Fine Gael representative in Blarney, said immediate safety works are needed pending the delivery of the M20 motorway.
We have 300,000 people a year coming to visit Blarney, but this is much more than a tourism issue. It’s a life and death issue now, he said.
“We have American tourists driving to Blarney, invariably tired, in a right-hand drive car on the wrong side of the road for them, following sat-nav directions to turn right across a busy road,” he said.
“It wouldn’t be allowed in any other country in the world. We need the council and TII to work together on this.
“We need big signs — I don’t care if they can be seen from space — to tell motorists to ignore their sat-navs, and to direct them to the safe exit two miles further south.”