The Ennis Active Travel Town Project has received a major boost with the news that Clare County Council has secured funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, to provide improved cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and connectivity throughout Ennis.
The three new walking and cycling routes that have received funding following a successful application by Clare County Council under the Active Travel Town Funding Scheme 2014-2016 will be developed on the Quin Road as well as from the Tulla Road to the Gort Road, and between Clareabbey and Ballymaley.
Clare County Council says each of the proposed routes are at an initial project development stage but envisages that “substantial progress” can be made in the provision of the facilities by mid-2016 in time for Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, which takes place in Ennis next August.
The Council added that the routes will enhance connectivity for cyclists into and through Ennis Town, enhance safety at junctions for cyclists and other road users, provide new cycle parking and provide behavioural change initiatives. Directional, information and distance signage also will be provided along the three routes.
Meanwhile, an Ennis Active Travel Town Project Information Session on the allocated routes will take place next Thursday (1st October 2015) in The Mall, Dunnes Stores, O’Connell Street, Ennis, between 12 noon and 6.00 pm. Engineers from the Local Authority’s Road Design Office will be present on the day to show the routes on a map and discuss the route considerations.
Thursday’s informal information session will be followed by a formal period of consultation later this year under Part 8 of The Planning & Development Regulations 2001. Clare County Council confirmed it intends to contact owners of lands traversed by the proposals during the coming weeks and months.
Route 1 – R469 Quin Road:
It is proposed to construct an off road shared use walking and cycling path along the route. The route will commence at the cycle/ pedestrian bridge beyond the Quin Road Railway Bridge and will extend as far as the four crossroads of the L-4118-0 and L-4116-0 which is located after the County Soccer Grounds. The shared use bi-directional facility will be approx 2km in length and varying between 2.0m – 3.0m in width. It is proposed to construct the shared path on the south side of the R469 which will provide a cycling and walking link to the Quin Road Business Park, Bruach Na Habhann housing estate, Doora Industrial Estate and the County Soccer Grounds in Doora.
Route 2 – R458 Clareabbey to Ballymaley:
It is proposed to upgrade the main junctions along the 7km route. This will link an existing cycling facility which forms part of the National Cycle Network at Clarecastle along the R458 to Ballymaley Industrial Estate. This junction upgrade for cyclists will provide connectivity of residential areas, Schools, Industrial areas and other key features in the Town whilst also intersecting the West Clare Railway Greenway Phase 1 at Mill Road completed 2015 by Clare County Council. The junction improvements will seek to prioritise the cyclist and improve the safety of cyclists interacting with other road users. It is also under consideration to provide cycle/ advisory lanes where possible in areas along the route.
Route 3 – R352 Tulla Road to R458 Gort Road Link:
It is proposed to construct a 1km long off road shared use facility which shall create a safe pedestrian and cycle link between the R352 Tulla Rd. and the R458 Gort Rd. The route will connect to existing cycle facilities on the R352 Tulla Road and via a crossing connect to Kevin Barry Avenue/ Corrovorrin Avenue. A 3m shared use path is proposed to be constructed along the western side of the L-4573 Kevin Barry Avenue/ Corrovorrin Avenue via the extension of the existing footpath. This will continue through the existing open area on the north western end of Corrovorrin Housing Estate to connect through to the L-4673 access road for Fioruisce housing estate and onto the R458 Gort Road where it will connect with Route 2. The route in this area will utilise an existing bridge point for the River Fergus.
Feedback to Clare County Council Design Office can be communicated via email on or before the 9th October 2015 to email@example.com, or in writing on or before the 9th October 2015 to: Mr. Gerald Fogarty Assistant Engineer, Road Design Office, Clare County Council, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare. Members of the public attending next Thursday’s information session may also leave an observation or comment for the Road Design team on the provided comment sheets.