According to independent Councillor PJ Ryan a continuous stream of traffic at the main Shannon Town roundabout during peak hours is making it difficult for motorists attempting to access the main N18 dual carriageway from the direction of the town, Smithstown and Stonehall.
The solution, according to independent councillor PJ Ryan, is to install a system of traffic lights. Cllr Ryan raised the issue at the recent Shannon Municipal District meeting.
As it now stands, he said motorists are putting themselves in grave danger as they try to access this roundabout between 7.30am and 8.30am and 4.00–6.00pm most days.
The reason is that traffic entering and leaving the industrial estates at peak times form a continuous line and keep driving through, as they are entitled to do, leaving little opportunity for other motorists to get out.
Cllr Ryan acknowledged that oncoming motorists are not obliged to stop as they had the right of way once they enter the roundabout but said this is causing a major hazard and, according to local residents, there have been numerous near misses at the roundabout.
In particular, he said that self-drive motorists who have just landed at Shannon Airport from the USA, are not always familiar with using the roundabout and tend to drive straight on regardless of oncoming traffic.
“I think the only solution is a system of traffic lights as this seems to work elsewhere where there are huge volumes of traffic,” said Cllr Ryan.
A response from district engineer Eugene O’Shea noted that the roundabout is at the junction of the N19 and R472 and falls within the remit of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) as part of the national road network. He will forward the proposal to the TII for consideration.
Commenting on this, Cllr Ryan said, “hopefully they will act sooner rather than later as there is a major accident waiting to happen there”.
Speaking in support of the motion, Cllr Gerry Flynn also recalled that councillors had requested the TII to introduce speed control measures on the road from the Drumline interchange to the Shannon Town roundabout over a year ago but nothing has been done.
He said that local drivers do have problems accessing the roundabout at busy times and he awaits with interest the response from the TII.