herald

Saturday 25 November 2017

M9 blackspot report won't be made public

KILDARE County Council has refused to release a safety audit into a new section of the M9 motorway which has become a major accident blackspot.

Local politicians have called on the council to make the content of the audit known to the public.

The route, between Kilcullen and Castledermot, in Co Kildare, has seen numerous crashes and one fatality.

There were five accidents on one day in March. 22-year old Castledermot man James Scully was killed in February on the road while he was driving to Dublin Airport.

In early February, four people were hospitalised after a multi-vehicle smash on the road and at the weekend another man was hospitalised with serious injuries after his car collided with a lorry.

A Kildare County Council spokesperson said that they would not be making the safety audit public knowledge because it was not their document.

"The only reason we have declined to release the safety audit is because it is not our document, it belongs to the contractor (Roadbridge) and they do not wish to release it," he said.

"We're not keeping it because of an evil motive and we're not trying to hide anything."

The National Roads Authority (NRA) has said previously that the design for the M9 was sound and there was nothing to set it apart from any other section of motorway



evidence

"There are no unique elements contained in the design of the new M9 (Kilcullen to Carlow). The road has been designed in line with the design manual for roads and bridges." A council spokesperson reiterated this stance when queried.

"The road is built in accordance with good design standards. We are certainly not aware of any fault with the motorway," he said.

"There is no shred of evidence to suggest or to show there is any fault in the construction or design of the road.

"There have been some accidents on that particular road and obviously our sympathies go to anybody who has either been injured or bereaved on it."

Gardai in Athy, Co Kildare, have said there is nothing to suggest that the roadway is contributing to the accidents but they would continue to monitor the situation alongside the council.

"There is nothing to suggest that the roadway is causing the high level of accidents but if the trend continues... we may have to take remedial action in conjunction with the council," said Sgt Tom Harte.

"There are varied causes for accidents, like our recent poor weather, but we would definitely be concerned with the volume of accidents."

hnews@herald.ie

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