CLARE County Council has been asked to put in place a “suitable and attractive” design for the junction at Lemenagh Castle.
At last week’s meeting of west and north Clare county councillors, Joe Garrihy put forward a motion to that effect and he said there is “a double opportunity here”.
He pointed out that as well as improving safety at the junction, the Council could create a “landmark experience” at a junction that people use to visit parts of the Burren, the Michael Cusack Centre, and Poulnabrone.
He pointed out that at a meeting of Clare County Council earlier this year, there had been a discussion of leveraging roundabouts throughout the Council to help local tourism.
Councillor Garrihy said that his proposal could not only help road safety, but could allow the Council to “take advantage of an iconic location”.
Councillor Joe Killeen said that it is an area where boy racers do wheelies, while he said that the cross there needs to be realigned.
The Council’s Road Design Office is to be asked to review the junction and to propose a revised design.
At the same meeting Councillor Garrihy asked for a safety audit at Garrihy’s Cross in Carnane and one at Doolin’s Cross, “to identify and recommend improvements to be implemented at these very busy intersections”.
He suggested that signposts be put in place to ensure that buses are not allowed on the “unsuitable roadway from Doolins Cross to Garrihy’s cross and also from Kilfenora to Doolin’s Cross”.
However the response from Senior Executive Engineer Enda MacNamara said that buses cannot be barred from the roads.
“The area office will request the Road Design Office to review these junctions and prepare designs for any proposed changes.
“The roads from Doolin Cross to Garrihys Cross and Kilfenora to Doolins Cross are public roads. Buses cannot be banned from using these public roads. Signage can be erected to encourage users to use alternative routes.”
Councillor Garrihy said that a number of people have been in touch with him, and that they feel like they are taking their life into their hands, so dangerous are the junctions.
He also warned that doing nothing “is not going to cut it”.
“We are a pretty innovative county, and we have come up with solutions to a lot of things,” he said.
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.