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‘Near misses’ at ‘death trap’ of Ennis pedestrian crossing

Champion Chatter

A PEDESTRIAN crossing on the Gort Road has been described as “a death trap at times” as calls were made for improved safety measures to be put in place to protect vulnerable road users.

A recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District heard a local primary school has highlighted concerns about the crossing.

According to Councillor Mary Howard there have been a number of “near misses” of vulnerable road users at the pedestrian crossing at Hogan’s Shop on the Gort Road in front of Glenina and Pine Grove estates.

She asked the council, “Is it possible to upgrade this crossing to make it more visible to traffic to ensure the safety of users?”

Responding to the motion Paddy Tiernan, acting senior executive engineer, stated that the Ennis Municipal District “commits to reviewing this pedestrian crossing and will investigate measures to improve the visibility of the crossing.

“Branches of trees which impact the visibility of the crossing will be trimmed back. Ennis Municipal District will also review the current line marking and advance warning signage and upgrade if deemed necessary.”

Councillor Howard commented that the issue had been brought to her attention by the local Gaelscoil.

“People are running across the crossing because cars are not stopping. It’s not as obvious as the other pedestrian crossing and they feel it is quite dangerous. They are asking if we could try and see if this can be upgraded and updated to make it safer. I was cognisant of it myself when driving on the road, you do come upon it quite quickly.”

Councillor Johnny Flynn voiced his support for the motion. He said there has been “phenomenal work” done by the Ennis Municipal District including all councillors in securing more pedestrian crossings for the district.

He said the Gort Road crossing is “particularly vulnerable” due to its width. “It is so wide vulnerable road users like children or elderly residents feel quite exposed due to the distance of crossing the road and the speed of traffic.”

Councillor Pat Daly said that the council have done “great work” in the area but an upgrade is needed of the crossing.

“You have schools there, the industrial estate, Pine Grove, Glenina. Definitely that pedestrian crossing needs upgrading. There are kids running across the road there, it’s a death trap at times and the sooner the council does this the better.”

Ian Chaplin, senior executive engineer, told the meeting that the standards in place when the crossing was built are “slightly different” to now and one of the difficulties with the location is adjacent access roads.

“Normally when we are trying to upgrade pedestrian crossings sometimes the simpler things we can use are lining the road to highlight the crossing and signage on the approach.”

He said the vulnerability of those who use the crossing is “in our thoughts” and that the survey will guide the council on how to proceed.

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