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Increased footfall at Ballybeg heightens need for completed footpaths

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Increased pedestrian activity and footfall at Ballybeg has led to the need for improved footpaths, elected representatives have said.

Motions were tabled by both Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) and Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) before the November meeting of the Ennis Municipal District seeking an update on the design of a footpath for the Ballybeg Rd.

In his proposal, Cllr Murphy suggested the footpaths be linked after the water tower and before the quarry to cater for “safe passage” for pedestrians and to link in with the “multiple walking loops” in the area. He also asked for Ballybeg Bridge to be made a single vehicle carriageway similar to the Rine River crossing in Quin.

It is intended to submit an application under the Active Travel Fund for the sections of the Ballybeg Rd, senior executive engineer Eamon O’Dea confirmed. The construction of the footpath from the Water Tower towards the Kildysart Rd is currently in the MD’s programme of works which have been delayed due to COVID-19.

Addressing the meeting, Cllr Colleran Molloy informed that herself and Cllr Murphy are frequently using the road, “me in my walking boots and you on your bike. It would be wonderful to see the footpath finished”.

Very little room to manoeuvre is a problem at Ballybeg Bridge, Cllr Murphy stated. “It is extremely narrow, there is barely room for two cars to negotiate past each other”. He felt single vehicular access “would eliminate a lot of problems”.

Little input from the road design office is required from the water tower to the quarry, O’Dea outlined. “The difficulty we have is from the quarry down the road along the corner,” he added.

“It is a very popular walk from the Rocky Rd to Ballybeg, a footpath there is essential, a lot of walkers from Ennis and Clarecastle use this road,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) commented.

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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