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Another accident at nightmare junction



CRASH: Another crash occurred at the Lewis Road Junction on Tuesday evening between a car and a motorcyclist. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Locals voiced their concerns after yet another accident this week between the Lewis Road Junction onto the bypass.

On Tuesday evening, at approximately 6pm, a car and a motorcyclist collided when one vehicle exited right from the junction.

The Killarney Advertiser took photos at the scene of the crash, which was attended by local Gardai, and it sparked a huge reaction on our Facebook page - reaching over 15,000 people, with 35 shares and 51 comments as locals voiced their concerns that something urgent needs to be done before a fatality occurs.

In June, newly elected Killarney councillors vowed to keep the pressure on central Government in an effort to get the much needed northern relief road into construction phase – which could take up to seven or more years to complete.

The junction has been the scene of several fatal accidents in recent years and plans for its realignment are seen as a major priority in Killarney by both residents and politicians alike.

In May, the Killarney Advertiser ran a story showing an artist’s impression of what the new road layout and adjacent community area will look like.

The plans show a new pedestrian underbridge linking Bridgefield housing estate to a new recreation area which will be constructed in the cut-off lands between the existing and new Kilcummin roads.

However, concerns remain that a fatal accident could occur at the junction before works begin.

Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Niall Kelleher, told the Killarney Advertiser this week that he will press the Council to get planned works started as soon as possible, in two phases if possible, to prevent further similar accidents.

“What I’ll be asking the Council to do now is to do the work in two stages, to implement a left hand turn only, particularly do the work required from the Lewis Road Junction to Cleeny, and whatever work needs to be done. The sooner this is done the better.”

“Inaction is not an option at this stage”

Opinion: By Rory O’Brien

They say the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome. Well in the case of the Lewis Road junction and the Killarney bypass, that insanity manifests itself in the lack of any intervention to the current traffic flow, expecting the regular accidents to stop.

There are now regular accidents at this junction, ranging from minor to loss of life.

But still, our esteemed elected officials deem changes only worthy of press releases, but no actual changes to the status quo. And so, the driving public toss the dice and take their chances. Throw into this organised chaos of traffic policy, tourists in rental cars, already driving on what is for them the wrong side of the road, and you have a scene usually found at Birds Bizarre. But alas, the implications of collision does not end in a laugh and scream of excitement.

The reality of two vehicles colliding is a terrifying ordeal leading to trauma, injury and shock. The dogs in the street know that this junction is an accident waiting to happen, although that wait can be only a week or two-long. It's a regular occurrence, and that's only counting actual collisions.

I personally have witnessed three near misses, and not two weeks ago, wrote my car off into the side of a rental BMW. Having admitted responsibility for the accident, the driver said he thought he had right of way. In fairness, there are no roadside instructions to the contrary. We shook hands, exchanged details and laughed nervously at the outcome. He had his wife and son in the car, and I should have had my daughter in the passenger seat. She went to pick-up last-minute bits and pieces for her imminent start to Fifth Year instead.

The passenger side took the majority of the impact! The possible outcomes don't bear thinking about - but thinking is what I have been doing.

And so, what is the answer? The only definite answer is that inaction is not an option at this stage. Make Lewis Road left turn only, put up accident black spot signs, reduce the speed limit to 20kph, erect yield signs for the bypass to Lewis Road, put up enlarged photos of previous crashes, hire a clown holding a poster saying, 'slow down or die'. From sensible to surreal, the options are there. I can't say for sure what would work. I can say for sure that doing nothing is insanity.

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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]




A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”


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Ballymac charity vintage run on October 1

The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1. The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac. Registration […]




The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1.

The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac.

Registration begins at 9:30am and sets off at 11am.

“There will be two separate routes with one for tractors and the other for cars and motorbikes. Proceeds on the day are in aid of Castleisland Day Care Centre and we’ll have plenty of spot prizes to giveaway too in the morning,” said the club’s PRO Kieran Glover.


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