INSTALLATION of traffic lights at the junction of Bóthrar Droim and Bóthar na Rinne would be “premature” until a mobility plan for Shannon town was completed, a senior engineer has stated as the current focus is to reduce “unnecessary car use”.
A renewed appeal for safety improvements at the junction were voiced by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) at the January meeting of the Shannon Municipal District. He asked that traffic lights be installed at the junction approaching the shopping centre and for existing lights to be altered “into the design of the junction”.
Junction improvements had previously been sought by the Shannon councillor in January 2019.
Senior executive engineer, Tom Mellett outlined that the current government and mobility policy “seeks to encourage more people to choose to walk or cycle, reducing unnecessary car use and creating a high quality urban environment that promotes healthy lifestyle and creates additional footfall in our town centres”.
Active Travel, Town Centre First Policy, Urban Regeneration and Development Fund are among the schemes that have emerged to support this thinking. Mellett confirmed that Active Travel funding for a mobility plan for Shannon town has been made.
Under this application modes of transport will be explored plus desire lines for walking and cycling routes. Ways to improve connectivity between the town centre with adjacent residential, commercial, recreational areas and outer town settlements are also objectives, he said.
An upgrade of the existing pedestrian crossing at the junction has recently been completed, Mellett noted. “It is considered any change would be premature pending the outcome of a more detailed integrated study”.
Repairs to the pedestrian light were acknowledged by Cllr Flynn. On the policies referenced, he flagged that Shannon has an ageing population with people using cars and buses while rhetoric that Shannon Airport passengers need to be encouraged to spend money in the town was recalled. He shared his concern that the town centre first policy will ‘kill rural activity’. The town centre would become more vibrant and accessible if the requested measures were completed, he maintained.
Support for Flynn’s request was issued by Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF), “it is an extremely busy motion and it is a wonder that someone hasn’t been seriously injured,” she remarked.