FEAR is building that a “serious accident” will occur at Spancilhill with residents appealing for a reduction in the speed limit in the locality with people afraid to cross the road.

Two separate motions were tabled by Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) regarding Spancilhill at the most recent sitting of the Ennis Municipal District. She asked that it be zoned as a ‘settlement’ in the new County Development Plan and also for a drop in the speed limit from 80km/h “to a lower and safer speed”.

Acting senior planner with Clare County Council, Helen Quinn outlined that Spancilhill was defined as a cluster within the county settlement hierarchy in the 2017-2023 Development Plan. She explained, “Clusters are described as the smallest type of settlement in the County Settlement Hierarchy and each cluster has a defined boundary. The draft new Clare County Development Plan is currently in preparation and the continued inclusion of Spancilhill as a defined cluster within the over settlement hierarchy for the County will be considered as part of the plan-making process”.

National speed limit reviews are initiated every five years by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) with the most recent one in Clare completed in 2018, senior executive engineer Eamon O’Dea advised. “The Low Cost Safety Works at Spancilhill will be installed this month and further speed surveys will be undertaken following the installation of additional speed limit signs,” he added.

Worry and concern is rife among residents of Spancilhill, Cllr Colleran Molloy highlighted, “the bottom line is that these people have fear in their lives that there is going to be a serious accident on this road”.

A road improvement scheme completed in recent years “was welcomed” but has led to further problems, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) felt. “It was a dangerous road but it has led to higher speeding and it has cut the community in half, the road is so busy that people are not crossing the road to families and neighbours”.

Drivers must obey the speed of the road, O’Dea said in response. “It is also a requirement on person driving a car on a public road to obey the rules of the road. At some stage, we will have to come to a sense of thought on road safety. There is a responsibility on drivers to consider what they are doing. God forbid if a child is knocked down, how will they live with that”.

“Personal responsibility has to come into it,” Cllr Mary Howard (FG) agreed. “Drivers are breaking the limit when they see the good surface. Often times it takes a fatal accident before something can be done. It is an accident waiting to happen”.

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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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