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Ambitious Killarney cycle infrastructure project unveiled

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney could soon have a cycling infrastructure to rival any of the great cycling cities of continental Europe. That is according to Kerry County Council officials who presented a four-part cycling plan to an online public meeting on Wednesday night.

The plans were presented by Kerry County Council’s Senior Engineer David Doyle and a question and answers session was moderated by Brian Looney, the Killarney resident who is the Council’s Head of Digital.

The presentation also included input from Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Brendan Cronin, and Killarney Municipal Manager Angela McAllen.

Over 120 people logged on to what was a first of its kind public meeting for the Killarney Municipal District. These included business people, curious locals and representatives from Killarney Cycling Club.
“A webinar is not ideal but it is a very simple and useful way to ensure everyone has their say,” Mr Looney told the meeting. “This is a major project for our town, it is so important and will add vital infrastructure to the town, adding quality for locals and visitors.”

PLANS AND CONSULTATION

While Mr Doyle gave a very detailed presentation on the four new proposed cycleways in the town, all four officials said that the online meeting was only the first step in gauging the public’s reaction to the plans.
Mr Doyle split his presentation into four parts, one for each of the proposed routes.
It is hoped the four new cycle lanes and associated street furniture, will link with existing cycle lanes in the town, including Muckross Road, which is subject to a separate funding upgrade by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Flesk Way project, currently under construction, which will link Ross Road with Flesk Bridge.

The Council said that over 12,000 people live within a 10 minute cycle of Killarney town centre and that this plan is as much about reducing town centre traffic as it is about healthy living.
“We want to promote active travel, health, the environment and fitness,” Mr Doyle told the meeting. “We want to expand the cycle lanes and include access to the schools.”

ROCK ROAD

It is proposed to build two cycle lanes, one at each side of the road, linking Cleeney Roundabout with the Rock Rd/New Rd/St Anne’s Rd/High St junction.
The plan would be to build a cycle lane beside existing footpaths, narrow the road traffic lanes and build kerbing to protect the cyclist.
Cyclists would have right of way at each road crossing junction so additional street furniture and signage is required to make this safe.
“This project aims to increase the allocation of road space for all road users,” Mr Doyle told the meeting. “That means the width of carriageways will be reduced.”
Concerns were voiced over how cyclists would be accommodated once they reach each end of the Rock Road cycle way, with concerns raised over forcing cyclists onto the Cleeney Roundabout and the entrance to the top of High St.
Mr Doyle said both issues are being dealt with separately – the Cleeney Roundabout is included in the Bypass traffic plan – as revealed in the Killarney Advertiser two weeks ago – while cyclist access to High St is being discussed as part of the public realm plan which is also under current consideration by the Council.

LEWIS RD

The Lewis Road plan will be slightly different in the sense that it will have a two-way cycle path on just one side of the road.
The dual cycleway is proposed on the Fitzgerald Stadium side of Lewis Road and could involve stepping back the entrance gate to the famous stadium and the relocation of boundary walls outside private residencies on the road.

PARK ROAD

The construction of cycleways on the Park Road is likely to be the most challenging on the four projects that are on the table.
It is not possible to run a cycle lane, eastbound from the Friary, because of the overhead railway bridge. However, town-bound cyclists could be diverted on a new path which will be constructed towards the rear of the new cinema.
Another new cycleway will be constructed inside the treeline at the front of the Ardshanavooly Estate.
Further challenges are expected at the roundabout that serves as the entrance to the Deerpark Shopping Centre and Pinewood Estate.
Plans are being considered to force cyclists (depending on direction of travel) on to Countess Road or Arbutus Drive and the creation of new traffic controls to allow cyclists continue on their way uninterrupted.
“Park Road is the main artery in and out of town,” said Doyle, acknowledging that this section of the cycle route is going to be the most difficult to deliver.
The plan will require new protection bollards on the upper section of the street, the road is too narrow there to allow sufficient protection between car traffic and cycle lanes.

DEERPARK

The new cycleway will continue from Park Road, along Arbutus Drive to serve the shopping centre, the Gael Scoil and the entrance to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre. Additional cycle paths will be constructed to allow residents of Pinewood Estate join the full network, once completed.

NEXT STEP

“Like Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden,” said one online contributor, whose identity was not revealed due to data protection rules, “Killarney is going to be world class.”
While February 17 is the deadline for submissions and observations, the next phases depend on planning permission and funding and each go hand in hand.
Funding won’t be made available until planning permission is granted and the level of construction will depend on the funding that is released.

Further submissions and observations can be lodged to Kerry County Council, Administrative Officer, Kerry County Council, Roads, Transportation and Marine Department, Room 115, Áras an Chontae, Rathass, Tralee, or email roads@kerrycoco.ie by February 17 before further decisions will be made.

 

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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IFTA nomination for Jessie Buckley

By Michelle Crean  Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week. Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week.

Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at a virtual IFTA awards ceremony which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday, July 4.

Other well-known Irish actors up for awards include Brendan Gleeson for ‘The Comey Rule’, Paul Mescal for ‘Normal People’, Dervla Kirwan ‘Smother’ and Gabriel Byrne for ‘Death of a Ladies Man’.

Over the past few months during lockdown, the Irish Academy Members have been busy viewing, deliberating, and shortlisting the very best work from across great Irish films, performances, and achievements.

Nominations have been shortlisted by Irish Academy members alongside a specialist jury panel of industry experts from around the world.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no physical IFTA Awards Ceremony until March 2022, in keeping with COVID guidelines and best international practice.

Further details about the show and the international guest participants will be announced shortly.

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