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MILTOWN MALBAY’s renowned square is in line for a face-lift.

Calls for a traffic management solution for the square in Miltown Malbay was requested by Cllr Shane Talty (FF) before the West Clare Municipal District. He suggested a roundabout as a solution to the junction off the national route which “is a nightmare to navigate and sees many near misses every day”.

Staff within the West Clare MD are working with their colleagues in the road design office to put forward options for the location. “Once a preliminary design is finalised, Clare County Council will approach the TII to agree on the design and seek funding for this project,” senior executive engineer Enda MacNamara stated.

Multiple roads connect to the junction, Cllr Talty flagged while questioning any driver instructor’s ability to educate how to properly manoeuvre past it. “It is a danger to pedestrians crossing the road on a daily basis, it is a lawless junction in my experience, you move out tentatively and generally have three or four car occupants waving and guiding each other in a series of hand signals, eventually if all three are on the same page, somebody makes a move and you take it from there, that is the daily experience there, I don’t believe the rules of the road would tell you how that junction is supposed to be navigated”.

Reference to a false dawn in terms of design for the location was also made by the Lahinch man. “It is vitally important on a very busy national road, it is a key junction on a strategically important town in West Clare”.

“As a younger man one of the most scariest experiences I had serving my time in Dublin was Walkinstown roundabout in a very busy time, that junction Shane is talking about is Walkinstown roundabout without the roundabout, it brings that whole chaos to it,” Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) noted.

Past failures on design cannot reoccur, Garrihy maintained. “Miltown like a lot of our towns and villages have been hit badly by the pandemic, losing festivals like the Willie Clancy, hopefully all of them will be coming back this year. Everything we can do to give an upgrade to the towns and villages post pandemic we should pile in behind them to give them a lift in every way, shape and form, we did during the pandemic with outdoor seating and all that, now it is even more important to give the boost especially to towns like Miltown Malbay, Lisdoonvarna and others which lost multiples of millions of income by losing their festivals and their economies are on the floor as a result”.

Opportunities to enhance the square must be capitalised on, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) believed while referencing the job of work completed in Gort to redesign the town square and maximise open space. “It’s a fine square, there’s a real opportunity to deliver something that not only delivers for traffic management but also for a living community there as well,” Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) stated.

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