Residents in footpath row threaten boycott on local election vote

The dangerous stretch of road between Rich Hill Woods and Grangewood Estates in Lisnagry.

RESIDENTS in two County Limerick estates have run up against a literal brick wall in their efforts to get a footpath on an extremely dangerous stretch of the Newport Road.

And now the 40-year saga of providing a footpath leading to a school bus stop and connecting two estates has gone up a gear, with 300 residents threatening to boycott voting for any party in upcoming local elections.

The lack of any footpath along the Newport Road between Grangewood and Richill Woods has been the cause of many near-misses and at least one accident involving a pedestrian.

James Ryan, whose son was hit by a car and suffered a broken arm while walking on the road, and residents of both estates, want the footpath before someone is killed.

The residents have been pushing Limerick City and County Council to provide a path but this would entail taking down a wall belonging to a private property, which is a listed historical structure, and the cutting down of mature trees.

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The owners of the property involved have said a definite “no” to the Council doing that.

A suggestion to the Council from locals that the road could be widened on the opposite side without removing anything and by putting in a pedestrian crossing was described by the local authority as “impossible”.

“We’ve been fighting for this for 40 years. There are 80 children who have to walk on the side of the road to get the school bus as there is a steep embankment and no place for pedestrians to go,” James told the Limerick Post.

Having met with a senior Council official on the alternative suggestion, Mr Ryan said: “Even though there are no houses, no trees, and no protected wall on the opposite side of the Newport Road, it cannot work as an alternative because two pedestrian crossings would be required to allow access to the existing path to Mackey Roundabout from Grangewood”.

But the residents say they will not throw in the towel and a solution has to be found.

“We will ramp up the pressure now to new levels, including our petition to the Council which states that if there is no footpath there will be no vote for any,” Mr Ryan said.

“The pressure to complete this project will increase beyond measure over the coming months and prior to the coming elections.

“Income tax payers and property tax payers, together with our precious children and grandchildren, deserve way better than the current highly dangerous situation along this unlit 100 metres of road without a safe footpath and lighting.”