A PEDESTRIAN ROUTE between Bunratty and Sixmilebridge will be incorporated in plans for the Shannon Greenway.
Following engagements between Clare County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), a commitment of €100,000 was issued to progress the Shannon Greenway project, senior executive engineer in the Shannon Municipal District, Tom Mellett confirmed.
Mellett advised that this deal includes “a pedestrian route from Sixmilebridge to Bunratty. At recent meetings, the necessity to incorporate pedestrian infrastructure to facilitate the Low Road has been highlighted and will form part of the project feasibility study”.
His comments came in response to a proposal from Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) seeking the design and installation of a footpath and lighting Bunratty Folk Park (Low Road) and the Ministers Cross (L3040). “There are talks in recent times about the ownership of Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, if we are successful in taking this facility in charge this is something we need to look at,” he stated.
Citing the number of guesthouses located on the road, Cllr Ryan said visitors opt to walk to the local restaurants, bars and attractions “and when they are coming home, it is very dark, the people staying are used to staying in major cities with lights and footpaths, they’re walking up at night in dark clothing and it is an accident waiting to happen”. He added, “The majority of B&Bs are in this area, they are going to be in quite a lot of demand this year and next year”.
Little progress has been evident on safety requests, Cllr John Crowe (FG) maintained. “Most of us have had similar motions down through the years on this, it’s going on and on”. He welcomed the commitment of €100,000 and remarked, “facilitating pedestrian access is the best way response we’ve got to this”.
Such confidence of a future link was not espoused by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND). “I wouldn’t be too optimistic about the outcome, we got written responses from senior figures in Clare County Council which showed it wasn’t possible. If more funding can be got happy days”.
B&Bs are experiencing “a resurgence” across Ireland, Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) stated. “Cost factor is one reason and also the difficulties in getting staff, for many years they had been on downward trend for bookings”. Support was also voiced by Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF), “there is definitely enough people walking on this road, it can be dangerous enough”.