Fears have been expressed that an allocation of €300,000 to carry out improvements at a notorious junction in East Galway will be lost if it is not used.
Earlier this year a grant was made available to Galway County Council to carry out much needed works at Nutfield Cross, which is located between Ballinasloe and Kilconnell.
The Council have made little progress in acquiring the land necessary to provide a staggered junction at this location – despite having the funding for more than six months.
Independent Cllr Timmy Broderick told a meeting of Ballinasloe Municipal Council that the funding could be lost to the county if it is not used by the end of the year.
He expressed dismay over the fact that the roads section of the Council had not moved on the project or engaged with the stakeholders in acquiring the land necessary for the junction upgrade.
“On a weekly basis I am contacted about Nutfield Cross to find out if there are any works taking place because it is an accident waiting to happen. The Council are simply dragging their heels on the matter,” said Kilconnell-based Cllr Broderick.
The junction at Nutfield Cross claimed the life of a motorist back in 2014 and it is the scene of accidents and ‘near misses’ on a regular basis.
One of the main problems is that a stop sign on one side of the junction is regularly obscured because of overgrown shrubbery while the junction itself is considered extremely blind for motorists.
Cllr Broderick described it as one of the most dangerous junctions in the county and he has regularly asked Council officials to make funding available in an effort to prevent further fatalities from taking place.
“But now when we get the funding, we are not using it and I am just demanding an explanation for this. There is a distinct danger we could lose this money which would be a disaster.
“There are crashes there on a monthly basis and it is mainly due to the fact that cars are crossing the junction without stopping,” Cllr Broderick added.
The works involve the acquisition of a relatively small portion of land at Nutfield Cross for the provision of a staggered junction but it seems that no arrangement for this has been reached with the affected land owners.
For the past four years the matter has been raised on a regular basis at meetings of Ballinasloe Municipal Council without a resolution to the problem being found.
Earlier this year Galway County Council were allocated over €23 million for the upgrading of regional and local roads and €300,000 of this was earmarked for the realignment of the junction at Nutfield Cross.
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