It’s unofficially referred to as the ‘old dump road’ because it’s home to the former landfill site at Carrowbrowne.
And in something of a self-fulfilling prophesy, the road has indeed become a litter blackspot, with regular incidents of illegal dumping and littering.
But the much-maligned Headford Road could soon be in line for a regeneration, after county councillors voted in favour of giving the N84 a facelift.
Councillor James Charity said that the local authority had to take the initiative in trying to change the negative perception of the Headford Road.
Speaking at the latest Oranmore/Athenry Municipal District meeting, the Independent said that the road has suffered from its historic association with it being the ‘dump road’.
It was one of the main tourist routes between Galway and Mayo and Cong and it needed a facelift. Some landscaping and planting of trees along the road would help to “change the feeling and the vibe of the road”, he said.
“The feeling at the moment is that it is a little bit neglected. We need something to change the perception of the road,” he said.
Cllr Charity pointed to the sterling effort of what Cloonboo Tidy Village has done along its section of the N84, as an example of how the road can be improved.
“This has long been one of the most neglected stretches of road in the county and given the site of the former landfill at Carrowbrowne it has a history that continues to affect it to this day, which is particularly evident in the ongoing and unacceptable incidents of illegal dumping and littering along the route. This is despite the Council spending hundreds of thousands in clean ups along the road in recent years.
Unfortunately, unless the entire ethos and character of the road is addressed, these incidents will continue into the longer term and given the length of the road, it is almost impossible to police every site along the route. Landscaping, tree rows or hedging are straightforward actions that could improve the character of the road, while also deterring illegal activity in the longer run by improving the perception of the road,” he said.
Damien Mitchell, senior engineer with the Council, said that “we can consider landscaping” but he favoured hedgerow over trees. He suggested that the Council “create a forum” to consider the proposal in more depth.