TRAFFIC in the county town coming up to Christmas is going to be “chaotic,” the Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District has warned.

Co-ordinated efforts between the Ennis MD and An Garda Síochána are needed “with a view to arranging a free flow of traffic throughout the town, particularly as Ennis presently is experiencing chronic traffic congestion,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) maintained.

Acting senior executive engineer in the Ennis MD, Paddy Tiernan explained, “Over the past few months various infrastructure projects have been undertaken within Ennis. These include resurfacing projects on Clon Road, Quin Road, Tulla Road and the R458 in Clarecastle. Uisce Éireann have also undertaken various water main replacement projects including on the Clon Road from the Quin Road Roundabout to Captain Macs. The commencement of the Public Realm project has also resulted in a road closure of Upper O’Connell Street from the junction of Old Barrack street to the junction Carmody street.

“These projects have contributed to a degree of traffic congestion within the town over the past few months. With the majority of these projects now complete we expect to see an increased improvement in traffic conditions within the town”.

Speaking at the December meeting of the Ennis MD, Cllr Daly admitted, “I’ve never seen traffic as bad in the town as it has been in the last four to five months. There is traffic congestion all the time, it is tailback after tailback”.

He recalled, “In the past Gardaí on motorbikes or Gardaí on the beat would help to alleviate the project, I think we need to write to the Superintendent”. The Mayor of the Ennis MD stated, “Coming up to Christmas it will be chaotic altogether, I thought the motorway would solve the problem in the town of Ennis but go down Carmody St any time and it will be a bottleneck”.

Seconding the motion, Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF) noted, “there is a lot of work that we have proposed, we have to be very protective is the mobility part of it and to ensure people can get into the town”.

Grievances on traffic were raised by former Clare TD, James Breen (IND) in The Clare Champion, observed Cllr Paul Murphy (FG). “We have a lot more pedestrian crossings that we used to, these measures have impacted on traffic flow and the pedestrian has to come first because it is the most vulnerable road user”. He continued, “I appreciate the sentiment of the motion but it will be a hard one to alleviate”.

Similar views were voiced by Cllr Ann Norton (IND), “We do have a huge amount of pedestrian crossings which have been extremely welcome, there has been a huge amount of work done by Ennis MD around the town to ensure pedestrians are safe”. She added, “the only way to slow down traffic congestion is if people consciously think about parking and walking a small distance, it might alleviate the congestion around the town because we are a small town with narrow streets. Irrespective of the works going on, Ennis has always been a town with traffic congestion”.

Cllr Daly told the meeting the debate would be forwarded to Supt Ryan to get his views.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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