Seventy per cent of the road collisions in Roscrea town involve pedestrians, members of the Templemore Thurles Municipal District have been informed.
C0uncillors were told that is why the Roscrea Traffic and Transportation Plan must focus on ensuring pedestrian safety.
That was the message from Mr Dermot Donovan of Roadplan who brought a highly detailed and forward thinking plan to the monthly meeting of the District this week outlining proposed changes to the traffic layout and to the road infrastructure throughout the town.
The proposal, which is still being tweaked and amended, has made many recommendations inluding the removal of parking spaces right in the centre of town and the introduction of some pedestrian refuges to assist with the crossing of lanes of traffic.
It also recommended the introduction of a roundabout at Market Square, a project for which there is funding available, and which will go to tender in the next six/seven weeks according to Engineer Mr John Jones.
The plan looked at all aspects of the streets and roads in Roscrea town centre in relation to car parking, motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, footpaths, street junctions, services etc. And, the finding were interesting with the town not regarded as being congested.
It takes approximately six minutes to travel from the south to the north of the town at off-peak times, and just seven minutes to make the same journey in peak-times, states the report which adds that there is a very strong road network in the town.
A by-pass of the town from the Limerick road to the Birr road should be locked-in and held as a real aspiration, Mr Donovan said, while a link from the Birr road to the road currently known as the by-pass would not be as advantageous.
The report also recommended re-naming the 'by-pass' as it gives the impression of a road capable of faster speeds than it is, and reducing the speed limit on it to 80km per hour would also be advisable.
Throughout the town, the recommendation is to replace side-on parking with parallel parking and it is also recommended to reduce street parking to one hour.
In the town centre, better linkages to the car parks have been mooted and it is hoped to introduce cycle lanes throughout the approach roads to the town in the current 'hard shoulders'.
This Traffic and Transportation Plan received fourteen submissions through the public consultation process including a comprehensive submission from the Chamber of Commerce.
This submission included concerns in relation to the reduction of car parking spaces in the town centre (Main Street) and it also made recommendations which Mr Donovan described as being 'extremely helpful'.
“It is always great to get submissions which suggest different courses of action and I would certainly say that there is the basis of a solution from the submissions we have received. It is very positive to have had so many submissions,” he said.
Cllr Michael Smith agreed in relation of the receipt of submissions and added that he was very pleased to see progress being made in relation to the Market Square roundabout.
Cllr Seamus Hanafin said that, as a cyclist himself, he had an issue with cycling lanes as they can be dangerous with people parking on them and the cyclist having to veer out into traffic to get around parked vehicles – Mr Donovan said that there could be no doubt about the classification of the lanes with appropriate colouring and signage to be used.
He also pointed out that were anything to happen in relation to the abandonment of the rail line in future years, the corridor created would provide a very good link in the town, while also suggesting that a link towards Kinnity would also be welcome.