Co Leitrim gets first set of traffic lights

Co Leitrim is about to get its first set of permanent traffic lights.

The lights are to be installed in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, over the next few months. As many as four pedestrian crossings will be put in place at the same time.

Leitrim is Ireland's smallest county, with the country's lowest population and traffic volumes.

Until now, there has been no obvious need for traffic lights.

Although there are a number in position on the Shannon-Erne waterway that runs through the county, they are strictly reserved for controlling the movement of canal boats.

Leitrim County Council's senior executive engineer Ken Moran explained today that the absence of lights had not been a policy of the local authority, adding: "It was more the case that there was no occasion that we needed them - until now.

"We had low traffic volumes and no big towns.

"But with record numbers of cars now on the roads of Ireland, getting through the county town of Carrick-on-Shannon has begun to cause problems."

Recently, traffic volumes there have been increasing steadily, with figures showing that as many as 8,000 vehicles a day are driven through the town.

The numbers have appeared larger since the last census noted a 3% rise in the population of Carrick-on-Shannon - the first increase since records began.

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