CALLS for the installation of signage on approach roads to Ennis warning of road closures have been rejected by Clare County Council amid concerns that it could discourage people from travelling to the county capital.
At a recent meeting of Ennis West Electoral Area, Councillor Tom McNamara stated that businesses are “suffering” in the Gort Road Industrial Estate as a result of road closures.
He commented there has been a “noticeable decline” in turnover for business in the industrial estate when roads in the vicinity of the town are closed for repair. He urged that the county council put adequate signage on the approach roads and that business in the industrial estate be informed of road closures.
Eamon O’Dea, senior executive engineer for the Ennis Electoral Area, commented that signage on the approaches could lead to people who are undecided about going into the town changing their minds.
“People could decide not to come into Ennis altogether if they see signs,” he said.
Responding to the motion, he commented, “The council are obliged to meet the requirements of Chapter 8 Traffic Sign Manual in road works signage. This necessitates stop/go systems and temporary one direction traffic flows with detours provided. The council will be putting any traffic management arrangements on their website and notification is given on local radio and to the emergency services.”
He added that upcoming works in the town for the Office of Public Works Lower Fergus Drainage Scheme will be “significant”. However, he stated that a system will be put in place to minimise disruption. “We will be obeying the guidance of the department and also the best common sense approach so as not to cause gridlock,” he commented.
Director of services, Ger Dollard stated that the council meet with representatives of the Gort Road Industrial Estate regularly. He commented that contacting businesses in the industrial estate regarding upcoming roadworks would be impractical and that other industrial estates in Ennis would want the same service.