Drivers who repeatedly enter the box junction in the vicinity of the Port Road and High Road area in Letterkenny when traffic was at a standsill should be “hit hard” with heavy fines, a local councillor insisted.
Describing the problem as fast becoming a “joke”, Clr Tadhg Culbert called for the junction to be scrapped or alternatively propertly regulated by gardaí.
“Drivers are openly flouting the law there, due to the lack of a garda presence,” he told last week’s meeting of the Town Council.
“The traffic tailbacks and problems at this junction are getting worse as summer goes on. We invested a huge amount of money in SMART Lights in this area, but they’re being rendered useless as the drivers of cars and lorries go into box junction, leaving it three deep,” he said.
“It is clogging up the whole traffic flow in the town. It has to be policed. Something needs to be done because the box junction is useless if is not policed. The lights too need to be looked at as they shouldn’t be activated unless somebody is using the pedestrian crossing.”
Drivers were not abiding by the law and instead were sitting in the box junction.
“There has to be a garda presence, or whatever it takes. The problem cannot be overcome without the forces of the law working to eliminate it,” he added.
Supporting the motion, Clr Gerry McMonagle, said greater use should also be made of the CCTV in the area as an ‘enforcement’ tool, along with a garda presence.
“If repeat offenders were hit with fines of €60 euro it would soon stop. We’re either serious about having the box junction, or not. There is little, or no garda enforcement. We don’t need a garda standing there at all times- we have CCTV and it can be used. Enforcement is the only way to deal with it,” he said.
Backing the proposal, Clr Tom Crossan said drivers were simply ‘breaking the law by clogging up the box junction’.
“One of the biggest problems is that when traffic is moving, and somebody is trying to park on Main Street, it is tight to park and they can be slow to make their manoeuvre. The same problem arises if a motorists are dropping somebody off,” he said. “I think if the gardai were brought on board it can be sorted,” he argued.
Clr Victor Fisher, said there wasn’t adequate space for vehicles to park on Main Street.
“Drivers need to be a bit more patient too,” he said.
Clr Culbert said he accepted drivers could be caught once accidentally in the box junction but repeat offenders had to be ‘hit hard’.