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*Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Near-misses have prompted an elected representative based in Ballybeg to highlight concerns relating to pedestrian safety in the vicinity.

Residents on the Ballybeg Rd in Ennis have expressed their desire to have speed ramps or VMS flashing signs installed, this plea was aired before the May meeting of the Ennis Municipal District by Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF).

She outlined, “There has been a welcome abundance of pedestrians and cyclists along the Ballybeg Rd as people take the loop walk along the Kilrush Rd and Limerick Rd, and locals who walk are complaining about the speeding on the road which I have observed and find very concerning”.

Speed surveys are to be completed, senior executive engineer Eamon O’Dea confirmed. “If the speeds recorded warrants further interventions, the details will be forwarded to An Garda Siochana for their review of traffic enforcement locations,” he explained.

Popularity of Ballybeg as a walking route for residents of Ennis town was reiterated by Cllr Colleran Molloy at the meeting. The provision of funding to construct a footpath from the water tower to the Kildysart Rd was welcomed by the former Mayor of Clare. She voiced her concern with the safety of pedestrians at present, “I’ve witnessed near-misses, I walk it daily”.

Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) also informed the meeting he regularly cycles and walks the route. He flagged that “blinding spots” exist on the road and that the addition of the footpath will improve safety.

“It is a motion that is hugely important for the safety of not alone residents but for others actually using the facilities up around Ballybeg and into the woods. It is important that the likes of these motions are taken seriously,” Cllr Ann Norton (IND) stressed. Most people from the town make the most of the “hugely popular walk,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) observed.

Adding further detail to the surveys, O’Dea clarified that they would be done over 24, 36 and 48 hour periods on varying days, “if people are not driving within speed limit, they are breaking the law”. The footpath is intended to be completed this year, he stated, the start date will depend on the roadworks programme but he predicted works could begin in July or August. The effect of VMS signs will be “substantially reduced” if too many of them appear around the MD, he cautioned. “If we start putting them up everywhere around the place, people begin to ignore them like the speed limit signs”.

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