CONFUSION has been voiced that road improvement works in Carrigoran could narrow an already dangerous stretch.
In a proposal to the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) urged Clare County Council to widen the upper Carrigoran road in Newmarket-on-Fergus “for the safety of all road users”.
An application has been submitted to the National Transport Authority’s Active Travel Programme for the Carrigoran to Bellsfort section of the road, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett confirmed. “The proposal is to introduce a footpath along the road edge linking Bellsfort to Newmarket-on-Fergus. These works will incorporate safety measures for all road users”.
“Major safety factors” prompted Cllr McMahon to table the motion, he admitted. “When the motorway opened, the heavy traffic using this road was expected to use the motorway, it would be common sense for them to do that but big vehicles and buses are still on this road, it is very dangerous and people are forced to pull in”.
Local residents “are in huge danger” when they are out walking and cycling, McMahon stated. He welcomed the “positive reply” from Mellett.
Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr John Crowe (FG) outlined, “the road narrows very much above Carrigoran, it is a very busy road and it would be very welcome”.
Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) observed that the reply did not say the road would be widened as requested in the original motion. “Is the intention to widen the road or are we asking people to walk and cycle,” he questioned.
“Up to this minute, I’ve had four to five motions on this specific road over the last twenty years and the response has always been negative. This motion is the first time I’ve seen some positivity to the request. A footpath at least is positive,” Cllr McMahon responded. “I am grateful for the small mercies, it would satisfy the people living in the area”.
Requirements will be dictated by the design process, Mellett told the meeting while emphasising the safety of all road users would be the priority.
Fears for reduced road width were reiterated by Cllr Flynn. “Part of the response for the footpath is positive,” he agreed. “We have very good reporters that will put it out there following this motion, we would be failing in our duties as elected representative if we didn’t question. The thrust of the motion was to have the road widened, a footpath will make it more narrow. The response didn’t say the road would be made wide enough”.