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Controlled crossing on Clare Road welcomed by members

AN accident in which two school girls were knocked down while crossing the road near St Flannan’s College was recalled this week as Ennis councillors welcomed plans for a controlled crossing on the Clare Road.

Last week the Clare Champion revealed that plans to reopen a pedestrian entrance at St Flannan’s College have been given the green light by Clare County Council.

Under a condition of planning, no works are to take place until a controlled crossing is in place.

At a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District this week Councillor Pat Daly said, “This is very, very welcome”. He recalled his early days using the old entrance to go into the school.

“It is important that a controlled crossing is put in place to accommodate the kids crossing the road. I remember two students were knocked down in recent years.”

Councillor Mary Howard recalled putting a motion before the council in 2019 calling for a crossing to be installed following the accident with the school girls.

She remembered being “shocked” at the injuries sustained by one of the girls, adding, “she was so lucky it wasn’t worse”.

She pointed out that even after it was closed up, the pedestrian entrance point had historically continued to be in use with students “climbing the wall”.

“We need to have a pedestrian crossing in place once the gates are reopened. If there had been a bit more traffic on the road when those girls were injured it could have been much worse.”

Councillor Johnny Flynn also voiced his support for the move. Councillor Mark Nestor commented, “I believe this is going to be a great asset to the school and the town of Ennis.”

Eamon O’Dea, Senior Executive Officer, informed the meeting, “Clare County Council issued a notification of grant of permission to The Board of Management of St Flannan’s College on October 13.

“The Ennis MD will await the final grant of permission before proceeding with the Section 38 traffic calming public consultation process for a controlled pedestrian crossing on the Clare Road.

“One of the conditions of the grant of planning permission is ‘No works on the proposed development shall take place until a controlled crossing on the R458 at the location of the proposed development is in place unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Planning Authority. Reason: In the interest of traffic and pedestrian safety’.”

The board of management at the secondary school applied to Clare County Council for planning permission to reopen the entrance on the boundary wall to the Clare Road, as well as erecting a barrier and gate.

The access was previously used as a pedestrian access point in the 1970s and was the school’s main access location in the 1940s and 50s.

The school, with a student population of 1,181 with 100 staff, currently has one vehicular access on College View Road and two existing pedestrian access points.

According to documents lodged with the application, preliminary meetings have taken place between St Flannan’s College, consulting engineers Punch and Clare County Council with an agreement in place to construct a controlled crossing point adjacent to the proposed pedestrian entrance if planning permission was granted.

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