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PARENTS ARE FORCED to play “Russian roulette” on the school run due to the dangers posed by a busy Ennis junction.

Residents on the Shanaway Rd in Ennis are growing increasingly frustrated with their ongoing wait for some form of alterations to improve road safety as they approach the junction leading to the Lahinch Rd.

Clare County Council’s road design office have recently completed a topographical survey of the N85 from Claureen roundabout to the start of the speed limit zone. Executive engineer, Michael O’Grady stated, “conceptual design options for Active Travel Measures are being developed for this area, the Shanaway Rd junction is being incorporated into these designs”.

An update had been sought by Cllr Mark Nestor (FF) on the back of queries from local residents. He commended the cohort of Ennis councillors for continuing to keep the item high on the Council’s agenda. “A survey and conceptual design are all well and good but what I want to hear and what residents want to hear is a timeframe to get approval from TII and start work on the ground”.

Councillors are like “scratched records when you’re getting nowhere with issues,” Cllr Mary Howard (FG) felt. She was fearful it was going to take a death for TII to pay attention. She recalled that there were three accidents in quick succession last year, “in a matter of inches a person could have been seriously injured”. The former Mayor of Clare said with a couple of thousands residents living in the vicinity, using the golf club, Hotel Woodstock and Banner GAA club that traffic levels are consistently high.

“It is Russian roulette for some parents going to Inch,” Cllr Howard flagged. She detailed that in order to avoid the junction to the Lahinch Rd, parents are travelling on a road “which is nothing more than a lane for a horse and a cart”. She maintained it was time to get tough with TII, “it is a nightmare in the morning and it is frightening to watch”.

Safety measures are needed, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) said while sympathising with residents on the “dreadful impact” to their quality of life. “It is a public safety issue, road design must be pulling their hair out with the intransigence of TII”. Residents are getting “very impatient,” Cllr Pat Daly (FF) acknowledged, “it is the same junction for the last forty years and now thousands are living there, there is no reason what happened at Corrovorrin shouldn’t happen here”. A briefing from John Gannon of the roads design office was sought by Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF).

Director of Physical Development, Carmel Kirby confirmed that the road design office are trying to make progress with the Shanaway Rd junction as an Active Travel project. Adjustments have been made to try get TII’s “responsibility back into the equation,” executive engineer Eamon O’Dea explained while adding that the road design office were on their third version of a potential solution.

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