TRANSPORT Infrastructure Ireland (TII) should be “shot at dawn” for its work on the Clareabbey Roundabout a councillor has said as he renewed calls for traffic calming to be introduced.
Councillor Paul Murphy has described efforts to address safety concerns on the roundabout on the outskirts of Ennis over the years as a “personal crusade” believing there will be a serious accident some day if improvements are not made.
The Clarecastle councillor has raised numerous notices of motion relating to Clareabbey roundabout at meetings of the Ennis Municipal District over the years.
Most recently he has urged that traffic lights and or signalling be introduced to make the roundabout safer for motorists and vulnerable road users.
Speaking at a meeting of the council he requested that all motions he has submitted regarding the need for traffic calming at Clareabbey be collated and forwarded to TII, alongside his latest request and that an “urgent response” be made.
John Gannon, Senior Executive Engineer, told the meeting, “A design has been forwarded to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to calm traffic and improve pedestrian and cycle connectivity.
“The TII safety team carried out an inspection and appointed a consultant to carry out modelling and will revert once same has been completed.”
Councillor Murphy said he was “relatively happy” with the response: “I’ve raised this for a good number of years and I’m still beating the same drum but I think we are making headway. I believe it is the time to bang the drum louder.”
He said that the roundabout is “not safe” for children and adults who want to be able to walk or cycle in the area.
He said that Clare’s cycling community are “firmly behind” efforts to improve the roundabout and are “sick and tired” of waiting for changes to be made.
“Thankfully nobody has been seriously hurt there. The traffic coming in the dual carriageway is at breakneck speed,” he said fearing if nothing is done “something will happen in the not too distant future”.
“TII should be shot at dawn, they don’t move too fast. I’ve been talking about this for 15 years,” he said.
Councillor Ann Norton backed the motion saying that the roundabout has “divided Clarecastle and Ennis”.
“It is putting a lot of people off of allowing their children to cycle to school.”
She pointed out that the council has a focus on encouraging people to cycle and that this needs to be done in a safe manner.
“It’s very unacceptable at this stage that safety isn’t a priority with TII. This really needs to be looked at sooner rather than later,” she said.
Councillor Pat Daly described the roundabout as the “busiest” in the county insisting TII needs to protect people’s safety.
“Pedestrians are playing with their lives with traffic coming from everywhere,” he said.
Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy acknowledged the work that has been done at a local level by council engineers saying, “it’s TII that are dragging”.
“I wonder is it going to take a fatality?” asked Councillor Mary Howard saying “the sooner it is made safe the better”.
Councillor Murphy asked that all of his motions be collated and submitted to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan also.
Carmel Kirby, director of service, confirmed that TII have appointed a consultant saying “progress is being made”.
She also assured that the Clareabbey roundabout is a “priority project” for the local authority.