CLARE County Council has announced that it is to hold a public consultation next week on the future of one of the county’s worst traffic bottlenecks. The council will show the “feasible options” aimed at resolving congestion at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people endure lengthy tailbacks caused by the narrow junction at Blake’s Corner, as they attempt to travel between Ennistymon and Lahinch.
In January this year, the council announced that a report it had commissioned was recommending the construction of a new road and bridge across the Inagh River 80m upstream of the existing Conway Bridge and Blake’s Corner.
However, it later emerged that three homes are on the proposed route of the “preferred solution”, including one occupied by a couple in their 70s and another by a young family.
The subsequent backlash saw nearly a thousand people attend a public meeting in Ennistymon to discuss the proposal.
A series of meetings followed between Clare County Council, public representatives and people whose property would be impacted by the proposed new road and bridge.
A public consultation is not required by law for this project but the planning authority has opted to facilitate one, alongside the consulting engineers, Roughan and O’Donovan/Aecom. Representatives of the engineering company will be present to answer questions and discuss any aspects of the various options on display, which may require some clarification.
The project will only go ahead if approved and funded by the National Roads Authority.
According to the council, “Feasible options which have been identified will be exhibited and put forward for discussion in order to determine a final solution to the traffic management issues”.
“We would very much welcome the participation of the wider community in this process, which will be central to determining a final solution to outstanding traffic management issues,” stated Anne Haugh, director of services, Clare County Council.
“Following the consultation, a period of four weeks will be allocated to allow members of the public to make written submissions, which in turn will be considered before a decision is made in relation to what option will be further pursued through a formal planning process,” she added.
The public consultation on congestion problems at Blake’s Corner will take place in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon next Wednesday from 3pm to 8pm.
By Nicola Corless