*Carmody Street. 

A NEW TRAFFIC signal system is to be introduced in Carmody Street based on traffic volumes rather than a time-based system.

An assessment of “the ongoing traffic congestion” on Carmody Street in Ennis was sought by Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF) “particularly in light of the ongoing construction works in our town”.

Traffic lights at O’Connell Street junction, Carmody Street and the Kilrush Rd are set to be the first set of linked lights in the county.

Acting senior executive engineer in the Ennis Municipal District, Paddy Tiernan confirmed that they have committed to “a full modern upgrade of the traffic signals at the Carmody Street/Upper O’Connell Street junction. These works will be carried out within the coming months in conjunction with the ongoing Public Relam Project”.

He explained, “The upgrade will incorporate technology which will control signals based on traffic volumes and queuing as opposed to the existing dated system which is time-based. This system will ensure priority is given to the direction of the greatest traffic flow and will ensure the junction operates more efficiently”.

As part of the upgrade, it is planned to link the traffic signals at the Carmody Street and Kilrush Road junction with the new set of signals at the Upper O’Connell Street junction. “This will mean that vehicles travelling along the Clare Road/Carmody Street should at most only have to stop at one set of these signals during moderate or heavy traffic conditions”.

Upgrade works “will cause an element of traffic disruption for approximately four to five days during the installation and commissioning of the signals”.

Speaking at the May meeting of the Ennis MD, Cllr Colleran Molloy noted, “there is such positive works going on in the town of Ennis but they pose an inconvenience for so many including traders and those commuting in and out of town”. She was hopeful the works would be completed in the coming months and “will improve the flow of traffic”.

Seconding the request, Cllr Tom O’Callaghan (FF) said, “this technology will hopefully speed up the flow of traffic in the town” Noting that the upgrade could take a week, he asked that this be flagged with businesses well in advance.

Changes to the traffic lights on the Kilrush Rd and Carmody Street have backed up traffic, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) cautioned. “It doesn’t address recent change in traffic lights on Kilrush Rd and Carmody St which is backing up traffic all the way to Government buildings at peak times”. He added, “the timing of those lights has really affected movement of traffic in that area, it has made Carmody Street a car park at peak times”.

Lights on the Kilrush Rd “were altered as a result of a safety issue for pedestrians” in recent months, Tiernan replied. “The pedestrian has been prioritised at the junction, there have been some near misses where two elderly people nearly get knocked down on two separate occasions”. The Council’s traffic consultant was involved in these works, “there is not much more we can do to that junction,” he said. “The pedestrian is the priority, this junction linked to O’Connell Street will improve flow, unless there is crazy traffic you will only have to stop at one set of lights.

Clarification on the cost of the traffic lights was requested by Cllr Colleran Molloy.

Without civil works, the lights will cost €37,000, the senior engineer advised. This will change the signals, signal heads and the controller “which tells the signals what to do”. He added, “there willbe new traffic routes installed, its technology which tells the signals how many cars are coming and what direction they are coming for, it will give priority to the flow of traffic which is greater”.

Mayor of the Ennis MD, Cllr Pat Daly (FF) pointed out a previous motion of his asking for improvements to the right turn on the Clare Rd received unanimous support. Tiernan assured him the matter was discussed among their staff at the beginning of May.

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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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