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Councillor Paul Murphy Photograph by John Kelly.

Cyclists ‘in a pinch’ along Shannon Estuary Way

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NARROW ‘pinch points’ along a popular cycling route on the Shannon Estuary Way pose a danger, according to one local councillor who has called for warning signs to be introduced.

Councillor Paul Murphy, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, outlined the success of the R473 Ennis/Clarecastle to Kildysart, Labasheeda and Kilrush, Shannon Estuary Way.

The Ennis deputy mayor said that the road, “has become extremely popular as a cycling route and this can be seen on a daily basis but particularly at weekends”.

However, he pointed out there are a number of ‘pinch points’ along the route, including one in the Ennis Municipal District area, from St Anthony’s Grove through to Hempfield/Claremount Cross.

“These pinch points are extremely narrow,” he said, with barely room for two cars to pass. “You throw cyclists and pedestrians into the mix and it makes it extremely dangerous.”

Councillor Murphy requested that road markings are replenished on this stretch of road, and that appropriate signage is introduced advising motorists of the prevalence of cyclists at this location.

He also sought that his Notice of Motion be forwarded to West Clare Municipal District so that additional signage along the route can be considered by their roads department also.

Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Ann Norton backed the motion saying, “It’s great to see people out in this weather cycling and running, and anything we can do to help ensure the road is safe and maintained is important.”

Responding to the motion, Eamon O’Dea, Senior Executive Engineer, for the Ennis Municipal District stated, “The Ennis MD will request the Road Design Office to outline the appropriate cycling signage to be used along this section of the R473 Kildysart Road and the road linings will be examined and replaced where necessary.”

While John O’Malley, Senior Executive Officer, for the West Clare area stated, “The West Clare Municipal District will carry out an updated assessment of the Shannon Estuary route in relation to its use as a cycling route.

“In recent years signage has been installed in key points along this route as part of the Shannon Estuary Way in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.

“Also, Eurovelo route signage was installed along this route in 2021. This has added to its popularity as a cycling route. Road signage and marking along the West Clare Municipal District section of the route will be checked.”

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