Council to put brakes on dangerous driving in Rathkeale


LIMERICK City and County Council are considering a number of strategies to put a stop to dangerous driving in Rathkeale over the Christmas period.

Recommendations for traffic calming measures in the West Limerick town, estimated to cost over €178,000, were discussed by councillors this week.

Speaking at the monthly Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District meeting, senior executive engineer Thomas Kelly outlined plans to use tabletop speed bumps as well as putting a ‘build-out’ system in place to narrow roads where necessary.

He told local councillors that making “physical changes” to the infrastructure of the road network in Rathkeale would impact “poor driver behaviour” in the town. He also said that plans to have four cameras in operation before the Christmas period were on course with the pilot Smart CCTV Scheme now at the procurement stage.

Fine Gael councillor Adam Teskey welcomed the proposals as a “step in the right direction” but called for a visible Garda presence in Rathkeale this December.

He also raised concerns about the €178,000 needed to proceed with the infrastructure changes, pointing out there was no provision in their budget for such a project.

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Independent councillor Emmett O’Brien raised similar concerns and indicated that lawful road users would also be impinged by the traffic calming measures.

“The sentiment is right, but is there a less invasive answer? These are a permanent fixture that will affect people from January to November in the aftermath,” he commented.

Director of Services for Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District, Caroline Curley suggested that money to carry out the works could come from development levies.

“The budget isn’t there but the chief executive has advised us to go do it,” she said.

Plans for a one-way traffic system on the town’s Main Street were also discussed.

Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Stephen Keary (FG) urged the council to consult with local businesses who would be directly impacted by any change to traffic flow.

He warned that a one-way system on Main Street would make it difficult for articulated trucks and he also urged the local authority to consider how it might impact fire services.

“If there was a fire on Main Street minutes could be lost and, more importantly, lives could be lost,” he said.

by Alan Jacques

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