Fianna Fáil in Westport has welcomed the news that a fund of €4 million remains to be spent in the town under the Smarter Travel programme award and has identified a number of pedestrian crossings and improved road signs needing installation.
Addressing Westport Fianna Fail Cumann at its Christmas meeting, Cllr Brendan Mulroy stated that the council is inviting submissions on how the remainder of the total €5 million money award should be best utilised.
Declan Dever welcomed the fact that Westport had such money to spend when funding was such an issue in other towns but expressed concern at a proposal to install a cycle lane on James Street.
Joan Geraghty asked could the council look again at the issue of a pedestrian crossing from Rice College to ensure student safety. Cllr Mulroy pointed out that approval was still awaited from the NRA for such a crossing due to the Castlebar Road being the main N5 road.
John Joe O’Malley said there was a major road signage problem at the lower James Street bridge where it wasn’t clear to motorists whether to turn for Newport, Achill or Castlebar as the visibility was blocked by Stop signs. “You can see people at James Street stopped and confused and switching lanes. They cannot see the signs because they are blocked”, he said.
Seán Staunton said the Westport Fianna Fáil Cumann would want to be involved once the draft proposals were formed on how the Smart Travel money will be spent.
Michael Moran agreed that the public know best where the problems lie and public consultation was key. Liam Ryder said crossing for pedestrians from the Mall bridge over to O’Donnell’s corner was also very dangerous because it was a wide road and traffic was coming from all directions. Cllr Mulroy said the main proposal at the moment was for James Street to be changed in line with Bridge Street. Trials on pedestrian crossings and a cycle lane were to be carried out. He recommended people make their views known to the council on how Smarter Travel improvements could be made to the town.