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Councillor Pat Daly

Ennis residents “in fear of their lives” over junction

THE brakes have been pulled by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) on a proposal to install a right turning lane at an Ennis junction despite residents being “in fear of their lives”.
The need for a traffic island to accommodate traffic coming from the Ennis side heading to West Clare and reinstatement of a hard shoulder at Kilmorane was highlighted at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District.
Councillor Pat Daly stated that this junction is close to six residential houses and a business with a “serious health and safety issue there”. He stated that residents are “living on their nerves every day” describing the route as “very, very dangerous”. He added that the new business has seen the creation of 10 jobs, and a right turn is essential in ensuring its sustainability.
However, John Gannon, senior executive engineer replied, “The TII have inspected and reviewed this junction and have assessed that the traffic movements do not validate a right turning lane.”
Councillor Ann Norton backed the councillor’s proposal saying, “this needs to be looked at on safety grounds. The residents are finding it very difficult with extra traffic using the junction and they are in fear more than anything else.” She added that business needs to be supported in the town. She outlined that the site of the business had previously been “sitting idle for a long time and it was great to see it being in use again.”
Councillor Johnny Flynn also voiced concerns saying, “Residents are in fear of their lives at the junction because of the speeds. Also there is a new business there on a site that used to be an eyesore for nearly a decade, it was a blot on the landscape.”
He continued, “TII have standards, but there are local requirements, individual safety and business requirements that are specific to this. Centralised requirements are blocking a solution for a local problem.”
Councillor Mary Howard asked if TII were aware that there had been a fatality on that route, adding that neighbours are “quite nervous”. Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy recalled how residents had asked councillors to see first hand the situation and hear their concerns. She asked for clarification on whether the council had any authority to do something with their own resources or whether TII had overriding responsibility. Councillor Mark Nestor said he was “very disappointed” at the response.
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Paul Murphy pointed out that the matter had been raised a number of times in the council chambers. He added that as the road is a national route “TII have the ultimate call”.
Mr Gannon confirmed that TII is the funding authority and has responsibility for the national route. He added that the council and TII have visited the site in the last two years and have determined “a right turning lane would be inherently more dangerous”. He stated that he appreciated the concerns expressed and would take those views back to TII.

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