Clare County Council is seeking Government funding to provide safe pedestrian and cycling facilities over a bridge in Ennis that has become a traffic blackspot for local residents, local TD Joe Carey has been informed.
Deputy Carey recently wrote to the local authority urging the council to apply for funding for the provision of safe pedestrian access on the Drehidnagower Bridge as part of a new €50 million package announced by the Government under the Active Travel Scheme. A previous application made by the council for funding for the project under the July Stimulus measures was unsuccessful.
In correspondence to Clare County Council Senior Executive Officer Leonore O’Neill, Deputy Carey said a new pedestrian and cycling route is badly needed to ensure the safety of people who pass over Drehidnagower Bridge on a daily basis. Deputy Carey described the roadway as “a narrow, humpbacked bridge without any footpaths” which poses a serious danger to cyclists and pedestrians.
The Clare TD also pointed out that the granting of planning permission for the Claureen LIHAF New Link Road will pave the way for the construction of up to 500 new homes and potentially provide a school in the area, which he said will “significantly increase traffic over Drehidnagower Bridge”.
Deputy Carey stressed that “now is the time to fix this dangerous pinch point and add to the infrastructure of the town”.
In her response, Leonore O’Neill confirmed the council is “currently formulating an application under the Government’s €50 million package which will encompass a number of walking and cycling projects in Ennis Town, and will be including the detailed design of the Drehidnagowner Road from Watery Road to Drumcliff Road”.
Deputy Carey welcomed the council’s response. He added: “The development of new homes with the possibility of a new school in the area is very welcome, but investment must also be made to support local infrastructure. This is an important bridge linking populated areas while also providing access to Active Ennis – John O’Sullivan Park on Lees Road.
“Several local residents have made representations to me expressing their concerns about the lack of proper access for pedestrians and cyclists at Drehidnagower Bridge and I’m pleased that the council has confirmed it is now seeking funding from the Government for the project under the Active Travel Scheme.”