first_imgDonegal Daily’s Motoring Correspondant has been at all too many fatal accidents in his role as a fireman. Here he warns that the Letterkenny Junction is a death-trap waiting to claim another life.Chances are there will be a fatal accident at Illistrin junction in the not to distant future. Over the years as a fireman I have attended car accidents on both the upper and lower side of this busy junction, most of them were serious, and some fatal. The junction in question is on the N56 out of Letterkenny heading to Kilmacrennan.As a motorists I have also learn my lesson on this stretch of road many years ago. I lost control of the car that I was driving and ended up going down the road back ways. I still can see the broken branches flying past the windscreen of my car for what seemed like a lifetime before the car finally stopped. To my amazement all I lost was a passenger’s wing mirror as the car managed to end up going through the gateway Of Dr. Mc Mahons and ending up traveling in reverse into his garden. I was one of the very lucky ones who was able to turn the key and start my car and drive away from this near serious event. “Connecting Communities Promoting Prosperity” The New Road which local consiode more dangerous at Illistrin Junction that the road it replaced. Photo Brian McDaidLast Saturday as requested by concerned local residents I sat in the filling station at the junction and had a coffee and a bite to eat and spent 40 minutes watching the traffic at the junction. The layout of this junction has been changed when the road was realigned about 10 years ago. Great care has been taken to insure that the line of sight is clear and the roads making their way out on to the junction are square to the Main N56. With a central reservation lane in the middle for traffic having to cross over the main road.On the approach to this junction there are calming traffic islands above and below the junction. All these measures including the regular attendance of a speed van below the junction, you would imagine should make this a safer road.In fact most people who have lived here all their lives now consider this junction to be more dangerous now than it was before the road improvements were carried out . On paper looking at a map this junction looks like any other, but that soon changes when you are faced with the daunting task if trying to cross the main N56.When the road was narrow, blind and twisty the speed limit was the same as it is now. Cars had to get out onto the junction from sharp blind angles of view. Even bends locally known as McMahon’s corner were dangerous but they did slow the traffic down before it got as far as Illistrin, on the other side of the junction Hoggs bridge was another dangerous spot on the road which also slowed the traffic down . A View of the the road as it near completion nearly ten years agoOn paper this road and its junction was straightened and aligned to make it safer. Trying to get out onto the N56 at Illistrin is a nightmare. I can remember the old road in the days when it was the responsibility of one council employee to walk the road and clean the drains with a shovel from the Mountain Top to Illistrin in all them days. I never seen that road flood yet the same waterway that have flowed under the N56 for a hundred years is now overflowing and flooded this new state of the art roadway that now blasts it way through this junction. If the designers of this road couldn’t allow for something as simple as the drainage of a road built on a hillside that floods where floods were never seen before how could they possibly have made provisions for the amount of traffic that is trying to get out on to that junction .The NRA (National Road Authority) are reluctant to reduce the speed at this junction of 100 KPH and are offering flashing lights for Illistrin School at peak times.Flashing lights are a waste of time on this busy road. All they say is be careful but you still can travel at 100kph on this stretch of road. What really is needed at this junction is a roundabout which would require no speed reduction as all traffic would need to change its speed to enter the roundabout. The area which was cleared back for line of sight at this junction would be better served if a roundabout was put in its place.A view of “Mc Mahon’s Corner” on the old Mountain Top To Illistrin Road a very dangerous corner on the old road. Photo Brian McDaidYesterday (Wednesday) I went to the junction at 9.00 AM in the morning as local traffic were dropping their children of at Illistrin school. Every so often you would could hear the horn blowing of a car traveling at speed through the junction, As cars have no option to take a chance and push out onto the road. Even school buses were getting flashing lights from passing traffic as they tried to lift or drop of school children. To be on the receiving end of this sitting at this junction plus the pressure from a line of cars behind you looking to get out on to the road can make drivers very irate and can force them into rash decisions.A Stone Plaque which is placed up the road from this junction suggest that the Road Authority were “Connectting Communities and Promoting Prosperity”. If the Old roads was bad the people that had to use it knew the dangers and were prepared to take on the responsibility for their safety and everyone around them. The people that designed this road have taken this responsibility away from Locals and the passing motorist that travel through it.In theory we expect this design to be right but in the case of the junction at Illistrin the design of this has to be examined again and changed. That will not take place until someone is killed at the junction trying to make the crossing, then it will be too late. A map of the road in the local filling station at Illistrin which locals want the speed reduce on . Photo Brian McDaidDD Motoring: Action must be taken on Illistrin Junction was last modified: October 27th, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img