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Installation of pedestrian crossing planned by Co-Op on approach to Clonmoney school

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*Photograph: Joe Buckley

Plans to install a pedestrian crossing near the Dairygold Co-Op Superstore in Newmarket-on-Fergus is hoped to alleviate long-standing concerns regarding traffic speed in the vicinity of a local primary school.

Noted by elected representatives as one of the most consistently discussed subjects within the Shannon Municipal District, the speed limit outside Clonmoney National School was back on the agenda at its January sitting.

Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) asked Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána to liaise regarding the permanent reduction of the speed limit to 50km/h in the vicinity of Clonmoney National School and for a zebra crossing to be put on the tunnel exit near the Co-Op store plus for the road to be gritted during frosty weather.

Under the Active Travel allocations received for regional and local roads, it is proposed to provide a controlled pedestrian crossing to the M18 underpass near the Dairygold Co-Op at the Hurlers Cross, Shannon, senior executive engineer Tom Mellett revealed. “Appropriate design solutions” will be progressed “as soon as practicably possible in the early part of this year”.

Councillors recently received “a very comprehensive letter” from the Chairperson of the School’s Board of Management, Cllr McMahon stated. “This is an ongoing situation, it won’t go away until we get satisfaction. An accident is the last thing we want to happen, there has been huge growth in the school which lends itself to extra traffic”.

McMahon’s consistency on the matter was praised by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND). The Shannon representative believed a “regularisation of the parking area” was required to “ensure as much traffic as possible can fit there”. Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) supported the call for traffic calming measures by the school.

Elected representatives have received “a serious amount of correspondence regarding Clonmoney National School,” Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) observed. He expressed his surprise that children from Cratloe and Sixmilebridge were attending the school. “The type of road lends itself to speeding because it is very safe. Reducing the speed limit and putting in a pedestrian crossing would alleviate this problem”.

Further support was voiced by Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) who repeated his call to include the road for gritting on next year’s programme. “I was told the speed limit review could take three to four years, at leave we got a temporary speed limit”.

“There hasn’t been so many motions put in about a particular place only this school,” Cllr John Crowe (FG) noted. He described the current situation as “extremely dangerous” and pointed out that work on the extension of the school has started which has the potential to add to traffic problems. “I turned down that road a fortnight ago, my tyres weren’t great but I made a couple of waltzes down that hill, the gritting would be very important,” he 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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