Options drawn up to tackle deer on road dangers

Danger: A deer that wandered onto the main road at Gortroe

PRELIMINARY safety improvement options have been developed for the stretch of roadway between Ballydowney and Gortroe in Killarney where a number of collisions and near misses involving deer wandering out on to the main road have occurred.

The matter has been raised by Cllr Maura Healy-Rae who said multiple motions have been tabled, deputations have been met and representations have been heard on the matter in recent years.

“What progress has been made to address the deer coming onto the roadway, particularly in the Ballydowney area?” she asked.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae: Several motions

Cllr Healy-Rae noted that suggestions had been made regarding the provision of suitable fencing or deer detection technology, as part of an overall road improvement scheme, but nothing appears to have been done.

Council officials said preliminary options have been drawn up and consultants have been appointed to undertake an environmental assessment of the area.

As part of the project, an assessment has been carried out on the impact that proposals would have on trees in the area which is a special area of conservation.

Council officials said having regard to the sensitivity of the location the proposals are being assessed in consultation with the key stakeholders, such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“To mitigate the risk of collision with deer in the interim, additional warning signs have been erected until a permanent solution is implemented,” a council spokesperson said.

It is expected that a decision of the preferred solution will be made by early 2022 at the latest.