Work has commenced on a major traffic calming project on the road leading to Tradaree Court and Cluain Airne despite a call from Cllr Gerry Flynn for a public consultation meeting to inform residents of what is planned for their area.
Following a meeting of Shannon Municipal District on Friday, Cllr Flynn expressed his disappointment that the community had not been consulted in the way he had intended.
Shannon Municipal District took the unusual step of including the proposal to install the traffic calming measures on the agenda of its annual budget meeting.
Welcoming the project, which may yet prove controversial, Shannon MD chairman Mike McKee said: “I am very happy to see this, it looks like a very major project and it’s to be welcomed.”
According to a circular issued at the meeting, plans had been publicly advertised and made available for inspection at council offices in Ennis and Shannon. The project is one of three pilot schemes selected by the Department of Transport to reduce speed in built-up areas.
Bothár na Rinne allows access to 350 homes in Tradaree Court and Cluain Airne and is adjacent to St Patrick’s Comprehensive and Shannon Hibs football club.
The calming measures include build outs on either side of the road, chicanes, bollards, road narrowing, surface treatments, on-street parking and signs and lines. The estimated cost of the works is €60,000. When completed, the traffic movement will be restricted along the length of the road as vehicles must navigate the various calming measures.
Shannon MD senior engineer Eugene O’Shea said he had been informed last month that Shannon was selected as one of three pilot schemes to be funded. He said the scheme does not include ramps. He claimed that vehicular speeds of up to 90km/h were recorded at Bóthar na Rinne during a survey of the road. “Speed is an issue, we need to deal with it and this is an opportunity to do so,” he said.
According to Cllr Mike McKee, local residents “are very happy with the pilot scheme”. He added, “I certainly welcome it with open arms and I look forward to the finished product.”
Cllr Gerry Flynn was sceptical of the senior engineer’s statement about speeding of up to 90km/h. Having lived in Clean Airne for 13 years, he was not aware of speeding to that extent along the road. Asked to identify the exact location of the speeding, Mr O’Shea said, “it was on the straight section towards Park Rangers.”
Cllr Flynn reiterated that he had called for a public consultation to inform local residents who, he said, are entitled to know what is being planned. “This is a significant change to a very settled community. The measures are aimed at speedsters in a built-up area but will impact on the people living in 167 houses in Tradaree Court and 178 in Cluain Airne.
“It seems to me that a lot of residents will be affected in order to slow down the motorist driving at 90km/h. I still think that the public who will have to put up with this should have been consulted,” said Cllr Flynn. He also asked the senior engineer whether the new scheme will take account of delivery vehicles accessing this road including rigid trucks and the large refuse trucks.
In conclusion, Cllr Flynn said, “I don’t want to be responsible for creating something that will be a problem for the local people to put up with.”