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Councillor Paul Murphy

Clareabbey roundabout ‘dividing two communities’ says Mayor of Ennis

THE Mayor of Ennis has likened the development of the Clareabbey Roundabout to “putting a knife through a pound of butter” resulting in “dividing the two communities of Clarecastle and Ennis”.
Councillor Paul Murphy has been a long-time campaigner for improved safety at the roundabout for pedestrians and cyclists. At the monthly meeting of the Ennis Municipal District he sought an update on the progress of three draft proposals submitted to Transport Infrastructure Ireland, as well as on a proposed sustainable biodiversity project.
John Gannon, senior executive engineer, responded, “The Road Design Office has received approval in principle from the TII for the preferred design option submitted. The next steps required by the TII are to carry out baseline traffic speed and traffic volume counts including pedestrian and bicycle counts, to carry out a safety audit of the preferred design and to update the feasibility report with cost projections for the various design options submitted. In advance of any statutory process commencing a preliminary design report focusing on the preferred option is required to be submitted to TII before final approval is granted.”
While Siobhan Mulcahy, Clare County Arts Officer, in her update on the sustainable biodiversity project outlined, “A commission brief for the artwork is currently being developed and preparations are underway to launch a call for proposals in the coming weeks.”
Councillor Murphy vowed to keep highlighting “the lack of safety” for pedestrians and cyclists. He acknowledged the responses and accepted the ongoing work of the council. However he questioned how the roundabout was ever given the go-ahead, criticising TII.
He said that improvements to the roundabout are “crucial”. He described plans for the sustainable biodiversity project as “looking positive” saying, “there must be about a half acre” of land on the roundabout. “It’s fairly bland and it doesn’t do much for the main approach to Ennis, it needs something to create a bit of life as you approach Ennis. Something that would actually turn the traffic in towards Ennis if they were heading for the coast as well.”
Councillor Ann Norton seconded by motion, describing the “dangerous nature” of the roundabout. She recalled that a number of years ago a delegation went to TII and the Clareabbey roundabout was one of the issues highlighted. “It’s still hard to believe in 2021, that they haven’t responded to the calls. It is unfortunate that they just don’t seem to be listening. I think we need to put a bit more pressure on them because this is something that is brought to their attention a number of times a year. They can’t keep ignoring us,” she said.

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