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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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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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