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Lights at ‘treacherous’ crossing kept residents awake at night


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Lights at ‘treacherous’ crossing kept residents awake at night Lights at ‘treacherous’ crossing kept residents awake at night

New flashing beacons at a ‘treacherous’ pedestrian crossing on the Clybaun Road have been removed just months after they were installed.

The LED beacons, which replaced older lights when a raised surface was installed at the crossing last summer, are understood to have been ‘distressing’ to nearby residents.

As a result, Galway City Council removed them last week and have replaced them with signage similar to that used at pedestrian crossings on the continent.

Cllr Donal Lyons (Ind), who advocated with Cllr Níall McNelis (Lab) for an upgrade of the crossing last year following a number of near-misses at school times, said he had made representations on behalf of residents complaining that the new lights were “keeping them up at night”.

“I got representations from residents that the new LED lights were spilling into their homes which was distressing people and causing health issues.

“Following this, a new form of signage was installed which has been piloted in Limerick City and County Council and in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and has proven successful,” said Cllr Lyons.

The new form of signage has been approved for use in areas where the majority of traffic does not exceed the 50km/h speed limit and Cllr Lyons said a survey carried out by City Hall while the lights were in place showed this was the case on the Clybaun Road.

“25,392 vehicles were counted over a three-day period, between March 12 and 14, and the average speed going through the crossing was 31km/h.

“24,000 out of the 25,392 were not in excess of the 50km/h speed limit,” he said, meaning that just over 1,000 cars were speeding.

Cllr Lyons said these new signs were likely to be used on new crossings mooted for installation as part of a planned Active Travel scheme along the Clybaun Road, and said they were going to be installed in various locations in the city as they had no requirement for electricity, and were cheaper to install.

However, he conceded that in this instance, their installation was as a result of the residents’ complaints.

The crossing is located adjacent to Clybaun Stores and is on a pedestrian and cycle route to St John the Apostle National School. It is attended by a school warden during drop-off and collection times at the school.

Councillor Níall McNelis said despite the results of the Council’s survey, he still had concerns that drivers were travelling at “very high speeds” on the road – and that the removal of the lights may exacerbate the problem.

“I have concerns and I have raised them with the engineers. They know what they are doing but this is a major pedestrian crossing for not alone the schools in the area, but for local residents making their way to the shops and wherever else.

“The survey carried out was done while the lights were in place and I have asked that another one be completed now, with the signs, to see if speed has increased. If they’re not working, it will need to be addressed. The important thing was that the crossing was raised, but the lights served as a warning,” he said Cllr McNelis.

Pictured: The new signage at the crossing on Clybaun Road, where the flashing lights have been removed.

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