*Photograph: Joe Buckley
AN ACCESS ROAD to Shannon Town Centre which reopened on Saturday has now been closed off by Clare County Council.
Over the course of four days, there were plenty of twists and turns after Shannon Town gained an additional road, without permission, over the weekend.
Shoppers in Shannon Town Centre were taken aback by the additional entry and exit point at the roundabout leading from the R471 to the R472 at Tullyvarraga in front of Lidl which was first accessible on Saturday morning.
From this point, motorists are now able to drive through to the shopping centre rather than continuing straight to Bothár na Rinne and turning left. Equally, drivers can now use the new road to exit.
This road had previously been covered in grass with efforts to bring it back into use ongoing for close to two decades. Clare County Council closed the road due to health and safety concerns in light of traffic collisions. When this closed, the entrance by Bothár na Rinne was opened up as an alternative.
Works took place throughout Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning to clear the area so that the road was brought back into use, The Clare Echo understands.
Management of Shannon Town Centre were unavailable to comment when contacted by The Clare Echo.
Local reaction initially has been positive among Saturday morning’s shoppers while motorists have had to make a double-take while seeing cars approaching the roundabout from the new access point. Concerns have been expressed that the health and safety aspects that led to the road’s closure still exist.
By Wednesday evening, the road had been blocked off again with crews from the local authority installing bollards to prevent vehicular access.
Speaking to The Clare Echo, a spokesperson for the local authority stated that they responded to the “development of an unauthorised access onto the main Shannon Town roundabout and Bother Na Rinne”.
“Following an assessment, this access was deemed to represent a significant hazard to persons using the public road. Measures have been taken to reduce this hazard under Section 13 of the Road Act 1993 and the access is now closed. Clare County Council were supported in this operation by An Garda Siochana”.