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‘Crazy situation’ at Clareabbey Roundabout

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*Clarebbey Roundabout. Photograph: Gary Collins

Improved safety measures for the Clareabbey Roundabout have been submitted to TII for consideration.

“Ongoing dangers for pedestrians and cyclists in particular” at the roundabout prompted Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) to seek an update at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District on plans to enhance safety between Clarecastle and Ennis.

Three draft proposals are under review by the TII. All three include a proposed off road route around the west side with a 3m wide cyclepath/footpath, the reduction of the circulating carriageway to 7.5m, changes to the entry and exit geometry, accommodation of access to the Maxol Service Station, entry and exit ramps to connect the road to off road foot paths, vegetation removal, bollards, high friction surfacing plus all associated new warning signage and road markings.

“Option one includes a puffin crossing (signal controlled pedestrian crossing) of the R458 south of Maxol with uncontrolled crossing of the R458 north and N85 west close to the roundabout. Option two is as per option one but with a puffin crossing on the N85 west approximately 50m from the roundabout instead of an uncontrolled crossing close to the roundabout. Option three includes puffin crossings on the N85 west, R458 north both approximately 50m from the roundabout and a puffin crossing of the R458 south of Maxol,” senior executive engineer with the road design office, Ann Cronin explained.

She confirmed that consultation has taken place with cyclists and cycling organisations “indicating that crossing close to the roundabout are not favoured at this location”. Option three has been recommended by Clare County Council.

Murphy commented, “I’m on about Clareabbey again as I’ve been for the last twelve years. It is a crazy situation there”. He admitted, “I like the sound of option three”. Potential works would see “an incrased footfall of pedestrians and cyclists going to town and school,” he believed. “It is very important that the TII take this seriously”. Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) seconded the motion.

Senior executive engineer, Eamon O’Dea told the meeting that “a substantial feasibility study” is to be forwarded to TII’s design team. TII have informed the Ennis Municipal District of their opinion but have not sent a formal response. O’Dea said an update will be provided at the March meeting of the MD.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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