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PROJECTS APPROVED for Active Travel in West Clare are not dependent on route selection for the Greenway, senior engineers in Clare County Council has confirmed.

Thirteen projects secured funding under Active Travel in the West Clare Municipal District last year, none of which have been completed fully.

Pedestrian bridges for Cree, Doonbeg, Cooraclare and Inagh remain at the design and feasibility stage with construction due to begin in either 2023 or 2024 according to acting senior executive officer in the West Clare MD, John O’Malley.

Eleven different areas were selected for footpath works under the scheme. Works in Doonbeg, Kildysart and Labasheeda are completed, Connolly and Quilty near completion, Kilmihil is two thirds of the way there, both Kilrush and Kilkee are said to be sixty percent completed, works have commenced in Cross, Carrigaholt and Kilbaha while Kilmaley is due to commence construction imminently. Miltown Malbay’s footpath works fall under a different category of the funding but are eighty percent complete.

Footpath and lighting work from Ennistymon to Lahinch is not finished, all of the footpath works are done but approval has yet to be received from the TII to install lighting on the Miltown Rd.

In Doolin, the pedestrian crossing at Fitz’s Cross had a planned completion for the second quarter of 2022. A section of footpath between the Cross and Roadford is to be completed in the third quarter of this year subject to the obtaining of landowner agreements.

There are three phases to the footpath works in Spanish Point, the first of which is underway since April, the second is scheduled to commence in May or June with all works to be finished by the end of the year.

Five pedestrian crossings are to be installed in Lisdoonvarna as part of Active Travel funding, footpaths will be linked as well, work was scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year.

Progress of the West Clare Greenway will confirm the key link points and further designs required for the Cappa Pier to the Marina works. Officials have said their target is to begin construction in 2023 or 2024.

Similarly, the Greenway is to influence the cycleway from Cregg Beach in Lahinch, no target date has been issued as of yet.

Kilkee’s mobility plan in the vicinity of the Strand Line and Bandstand is at the feasibility stage.

A walkability audit in Kilrush is over three quarters of the way completed.

Detailed design and the securing of tenders are ongoing for the footpath improvements in Lissycasey with works said to be fifteen percent completed.

Both Boston and Ruan fall under the one project for pedestrian works, the Boston crossing is finished with the Ruan equivalent underway since March.

O’Malley stated that the programme was for five years of funding and commenced last year. It involves “works of varying complexities with some of the more straightforward works such as footpath upgrades significantly progressed and other works that require landowner consents, environmental assessments, etc. progressing through the appropriate stages”.

An update had been sought by Cllr Shane Talty (FF). “There is queries regularly with funding announced for projects last summer but are still on the ground”. He observed, “certain elements seems to be contingent on the Greenway’s development, the lighting on the Miltown Malbay Rd in Lahinch can it be progressed”.

“It’s not dependent on the Greenway for the lighting on Miltown Rd, we’re waiting on TII approval and hopeful to get that this year and progress that. It is not impacted in anyway by the Greenway,” senior executive engineer, Enda MacNamara replied.

On the subject of Active Travel, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) flagged the need for more charging points for electric vehicles. “We need to think ahead before planning Active Travel”. He revealed that one individual in Kilrush made “the effort to switch to an electric vehicle” but due to the shortage of charging points in the West Clare town they have since reverted to a diesel car. “We have to up our game on charging points,” Talty agreed.

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