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Councillor Alan O'Callaghan

Cost of speed signs hinders road safety

REPRESENTATIVES of the Killaloe Municipal District welcomed the provision of speed control signs in Ogonnelloe and Tuamgraney but requests to roll them out elsewhere came with a warning that each sign costs approximately €5,000.

Councillor Pat Burke raised the issue in a motion that highlighted the effectiveness of the speed control measures introduced in Ogonnelloe and Tuamgraney recently. He asked would Clare County Council consider installing these measures at other villages, particularly on busy regional roads.

Responding to the motion, Pat Henchy, executive engineer at the Killaloe Municipal District, said the council is well disposed to provide further speed warning devices but advised this was “all dependent on availability of funding”.

He told members at the meeting he was not entirely sure what the cost was for the electronic signs, which flash the speed one is travelling at, but it was in the region of €5,000 per unit.

Councillor Burke said the signs were “very effective warning signs and people do automatically slow down when they see them flashing”. He added, “The majority of people take heed of these and I would be asking if they can be considered elsewhere.”

Mr Henchy said Hugh McGrath, the senior executive engineer for the municipal district, had organised the signage and that originally it was planned that they may be moved to another village as time went on.

However, he said the engineers had found the signs bigger and heavier than they expected and he did not think they would be moved, going forward. He said while the council and Mr McGrath were in favour of using these signs, he said he could not envisage the council buying “two for every town in East Clare”.
Councillor Burke said he felt these signs were required along the Mountshannon Road approaching Scariff from Mountshannon in particular.

He added that he was suggesting the roll-out of these signs to the “busier villages” in East Clare and said he “wouldn’t justify spending that kind of money on the less busy roads”.
He was supported by Councillor Pat Hayes, who said, “I’m glad to hear the signs are heavy and I would hope they would never be lifted. They are hugely effective and I don’t want to see them moved.”

The issue of introducing such speed signs were also raised by Councillor Alan O’Callaghan, who tabled a motion calling for similar measures to be taken on the R462 outside Kilmurry National School, where more than 150 pupils attend.

In a reply to the motion, Mr Henchy said, “Traffic-calming measures have been carried out, including, most recently, school ahead warnings painted on the road surface, at either approach to the school. The council road safety officer is due to meet with gardaí at Kilmurry to discuss the issue of infringements of speed limit.”

Councillor O’Callaghan also raised the issue of speeding and the need for traffic-control measures in the village of Kilkishen.
In his motion, he said, “Cars are travelling through the village at a dangerous speed and it’s making it very unsafe for residents.”

Mr Henchy advised that the R462 passes through Main Street, Kilkishen and is subject to a 50km per hour speed limit through the village.

“Complete reconstruction of the Main Street, subsequent to sewerage scheme, provided continuous footpaths on both sides of the carriageway with high kerbing safeguarding pedestrians. The implementation of speed limit is the responsibility of gardaí,” he said.

Councillor O’Callaghan highlighted that this was a busy route as the road was used by the majority of those travelling from that area of East Clare to work in Shannon.
He added that similarly in Kilmurry this road was particularly busy at peak school drop off and pick up times. “It’s mayhem. The traffic there is crazy,” he said.

He was supported by Councillor Joe Cooney who said signage was needed in Kilkishen and Kilmurry in light of the traffic using the road.

About Carol Byrne

Carol Byrne is a reporter at The Clare Champion newspaper reporting on news in the East Clare area and the arts. She also covers the courts in County Clare and has received four national awards for this coverage from the Law Society of Ireland. A Masters in journalism graduate of NUI Galway, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Limerick in Music and Media Studies. She began her career interning at The Limerick Leader and Clare FM, before taking up a full time post at The Clare Champion in 2006.

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