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Ballybeg bat survey needed before lighting installed

PLANNED public lighting at Ballybeg cannot be installed until after a bat survey is completed due to the presence of the rare creatures at Ballybeg Woods, a council engineer has said. However, Barry Conway, executive engineer has given assurances that the works will go-ahead with the survey needed to determine the programme of installation
Details of footpath works in Ballybeg were outlined at the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District where clarification on a number of issues was sought by Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy.
The meeting also heard that speeding traffic is expected to slow down at Ballybeg once the new footpath is put in place.
Councillor Colleran Molloy described the commencement of the works as “wonderful for the neighbourhood to see”. Funding granted in 2021 will extend the footpath from the water tower as far as the Radharc na hInse housing development and further funding will be sought to complete the remainder of the path next year. The design work has commenced, Mr Conway, told the meeting.
Responding to questions from Councillor Colleran Molloy, he confirmed that ducting for streetlighting is included in the current works. New paving at the section in front of the grotto at the beginning of the new footpath is to be included.
Due to the presence of the lesser horseshoe bat in Ballybeg Woods, a bat survey is required prior to the installation of any public lighting in the vicinity.
“Such a survey is currently being arranged by the Road Design Office and the findings of the survey will determine the programme of installation of the lights,” he said.
Welcoming the works, Councillor Colleran Molloy told the meeting that speeding continues to be an issue in the area. “There continues to be speeding cars using the road to get onto the motorway, there is a continual demand for more traffic calming.”
Mr Conway outlined his expectation that speeding would reduce when the works are complete saying the footpaths will “visually create a barrier”. Speed surveys have been carried out ahead of the works and will also be carried out once they are complete.
Deputy Mayor of Ennis Councillor Paul Murphy commented, “I do believe the construction of the footpath will act as a speed deterrent.” He added he has spoken with An Garda Siochána about speeding in the area and they have committed to maintaining a presence in the area. Welcoming the plans he said, “This is great to see for the safety of pedestrians and vulnerable road users.”
Councillor Pat Daly said that the works have come as “a great relief” to residents of Ballybeg. Councillor Mary Howard commented that the new footpath was “long overdue” with “every councillor in this chamber” submitting motions urging works be carried out in the locality. “This is only going to add to the amenities there,” she said.

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