Allocation of € 250,000 Government for Oakleigh wood/ Cappahard Roundabout

Summary and Current status:

After a ten year campaign to get funding for Oakleigh wood/ Cappahard Roundabout, Tulla Rd, Ennis, I welcome on Health and Safety grounds the € 1/4 million funding approval, to be spent on a road with over 6 and a half million vehicles using it each year, announced by Government for construction of the long awaited Oakleigh wood/ Cappahard Roundabout on the busy Tulla road Ennis. This road is one of the busiest in Clare with over 18,000 average daily vehicular usage.

Next Phase:
Having spoken with the Senior Roads Engineer at Clare County Council in January 2016, I am hopeful that next stages of preparation of drawings, etc for a public tendering process for the project followed by the awarding of contracts and then the actual construction phase can proceed as quickly as possible. It would be great to see the roundabout hopefully constructed & in use within the next 12 months.

Background story:

Myself, a number of residents and Pat Breen TD met the Minister for Transport Pascal Donoghue on 23rd November 2015, as a deputation to seek funding for the construction of this roundabout.

Currently the lack of this roundabout means that nearly 500 houses in Oakleigh Woods , Cappahard and Derrymore cannot safely exit or enter the Tulla Rd, a road whose traffic has greatly increased since the junction 13 link to the M18 motorway was constructed over 7 years ago.

The construction of this roundabout in the next year will resolve this traffic safety issue but also will make it possible to finally resolve a long terms flooding problem at this location which seriously affects adjoining houses and impacts on the usage of the road system in the area. The project will also greatly improve the safety for pedestrian and cyclists using this currently unfinished junction.

As a former Chief Fire Officer and Civil Engineer I have stated consistently that I consider that due to a combination of the very poor current layout of the staggered junction , lack of proper lighting, lack of appropriate footpaths that there is a huge health and safety risk at the entrances to these estates off the Tulla Road.

I have been asking, on behalf of the residents and users of Tulla Rd, every 6 months over the last decade at Ennis Town Council & Clare County Council meetings for the Roads Authority to build this crucial roundabout. In the last few years design work and planning permission has been carried out whilst awaiting the necessary funding of €250,000 to build it.

Because of the serious problems with the lack of this roundabout on the stretch of road adjoining Tulla Road estates such as CastleRock , Knockaderry , Clover Hill and even where my family & I live in Verdant Hill experience knock on difficulties exiting & entering their respective junctions due to the speed of wave after wave of vehicles on Tulla Rd .
These traffic flows will hopefully be slowed down by the traffic calming effect of the proposed roundabout once constructed.
Also it might slow down traffic further in Tulla Road enough to assist cars get in and out at Corrovorrin Junction more easily, I had previously worked to get funding (€50,000) approved for improvement of this junction, but the project did not proceed as it was objected to at planning permission stage.

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