North Clare roads frequented by tourists are in need of adequate improvements to cater for their usage, elected representatives have flagged.
Improvements to the “exceptionally busy R477” were requested by Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) at a recent meeting of the West Clare Municipal District. The Ballyvaughan and Gleinagh section of the road required resurfacing and relining, he believed and insisted “overgrown roadside hedges” along the Ballyvaughan, Gleninagh, Murrough and Fanore sections of the route needed to be cut.
An upgrade of the pull-in areas available in the short-term “to allow for greater ability to savour the spectacular sea views, increase the opportunity to social distance while improving traffic flow,” was also sought by the Corofin councillor.
Resurfacing works are not included in the 2020 schedule of works, senior executive engineer Enda MacNamara outlined. If deemed necessary following a review, it will be noted for next year. A survey on the pull-in areas was previously completed by the local authority in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, MacNamara stated, the results are currently under review as part of the Wild Atlantic Way Route Review project.
“It’s known that there are 1.5m visitors coming to the Cliffs of Moher, a huge number seem to travel from Ballyvaughan through Fanore and onto Doolin,” Cllr Killeen highlighted. He said North Clare regularly had tail to tail traffic during the staycation period. “We need to look at having pull-in areas, it is a necessity to have a pull-in area to appreciate the views, they would have a pull-in every 100m if it was in Kerry”.
Cathaoirleach of the West Clare MD, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) seconded the motion and remarked, “You’ll never have enough pull-in spaces on that road”. He agreed that the route from Gleninagh to Black Head is “one of the most attractive drives in the world. It is the most beautiful route to the Cliffs of Moher”. He was of the view that focus needs to be put on where the traffic is and implement solutions to avoid congestion.
Funding for the pull-ins have been identified, acting senior executive officer John O’Malley confirmed. A meeting with Fáilte Ireland on the topic was due to take place in late August.