Senior engineers in Clare County Council have said the introduction of road markings along the Low Rd in Bunratty “would be detrimental”.

Tom Mellett, senior executive engineer in the Shannon Municipal District poured cold water on the request from Cllr John Crowe (FG) to line the Low Rd in Bunratty from the Minister’s Cross to the Folk Park.

Following consideration of the proposal, Mellett advised that the Office determined “it would be detrimental to introduce central road markings on the road. Where a road is narrow introducing central line markings gives drivers a false impression of space and belief that there is adequate space for opposing lanes of cars to pass. It can also lead to over running of the edge increasing the likelihood of damage to the road and vehicle”.

Roadstone trucks formerly used the road before the construction of the M18, Cllr Crowe recalled. The provision of a footpath to allow guests at B&Bs along the road walk to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for events was considered previously, Crowe noted. “Bunratty is a hive of activity, this is a very busy road but has absolutely no markings. There are two exceptionally dangerous bends on it,” he stated.

Examining the pinch points on the road would be worthwhile, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) surmised. “It is an extremely dangerous road with the amount of tourists walking on it”.

Cleaning of ditches along the road to provide a footpath and lighting was examined by retired engineer, Eugene O’Shea but insufficient funding existed to carry out the works, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) outlined. “There was a plan in place to carry out that work,” he insisted.

Flooding is also an issue on the road between the gullies and the walls of houses, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) flagged.

Action will need to be taken, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) remarked. “In recent years it has grown into a walkway for people and cycling to a certain extent. Long-term that road will have to be upgraded to bring modern specifications, the problem of a narrow road will not go away”.

Given the references to footpaths, lighting and flooding, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) observed that the Low Rd was “an ideal candidate” for a smarter travel programme, a suggestion that Mellett acknowledged had “potential”. “Be careful of what you ask for, smarter travel is bicycles and walking,” Cllr Flynn replied.

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