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Fears over slow progress on danger junctions 

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Two of the town’s most dangerous junctions appear to be set for significant overhauls but locals have expressed their dismay that the potentially life-saving changes are taking so long to implement.

The foot of Madam’s Hill has long been acknowledged as an accident and traffic black spot and observers believe the positioning of a 100km/h signpost BEFORE the junction on the way out of town represents a major, and possibly deadly, planning flaw. Cllr Maura Healy-Rae told the Advertiser that she has asked that the speed limit be extended out beyond the junction, which would then give people a greater chance of exiting and accessing it. The council are currently awaiting a ‘speed review’ which will determine the appropriate course of action.

With over 20 houses under construction at the top of Madam’s Hill, the junction is expected to be under further strain before long. One concerned local resident said the current situation was “an accident waiting to happen”.

Meanwhile, progress is apparently being made on the Lewis Road/bypass junction but it could be after the summer before any significant upgrades begin. Speaking to the Advertiser yesterday, Mayor Niall Kelleher said he was “very annoyed” that the TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) had not yet met with the council but welcomed the news that they have requested a project appraisal, which they hope will be approved in June or July.

An archaeological and environmental assessment is also underway and, subject to this screening process, the Part 8 Notice is expected to be published in Q3 (June/July/August) of this year. It is still unknown what the proposed new junction would look like. 

It has also been revealed that the current signage layout has been examined and some additional signs will be erected as an interim measure.

Here at the Advertiser we have campaigned for a major overhaul of the Lewis Road/bypass junction for quite some time so we are pleased to hear that some progress has been made. Credit is due to the mayor and the 5,000 people who signed the petition for change at the site.

It is disappointing, however, that we find ourselves heading into another busy tourist season with no concrete solutions, bar a few signs, in place at what is Killarney’s biggest accident black spot. Last May, cyclist Annette Mannix tragically died when she was involved in a collision with a tractor at this exact location and, almost a year on, the area is still a major concern for the people of Killarney. Hopefully the situation is resolved sooner rather than later because - and it goes without saying - the last thing anyone wants is another accident.

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Future Kerry railway plans revealed

By Sean Moriarty Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport. On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council. During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport.

On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council.

During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans and ambitions from now until 2027.

These include an increase in frequency on the Tralee to Mallow line.

It is hoped to have one train an hour operating on the line at peak times and two-hourly off-peak.

In a perfect world, the rail station at Farranfore would be placed across the road from the airport and not a 1km walk away but such a move is not likely to happen.

Cllr Norma Moriarty, of the Kenmare Municipal District explained how she was on trip to Yorkshire a few years ago.

“I flew from Kerry to Manchester and was able to get a connecting train to Yorkshire without ever leaving the airport building,” she said. “The people I was visiting were very surprised to hear me talk about this so much – it is normal to them.”

Under the Strategy 2027 plan Killarney rail station will get repainted and new signs will be put in place during 2022.

Additional parking spaces will be created at Farranfore Railway station and this lead to calls for a similar expansion at Rathmore.

“A lot of people from South Kerry use Rathmore railway station,” said local councillor Niall Kelleher. “They drive up from Kenmare and cut across by Glenflesk.”

Mr Kenny said he would take the Rathmore comments back to the Iarnród Éireann engineer in charge of parking strategy.

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Walking and cycling projects set for upgrade 

Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects. €350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel. Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include […]

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Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects.

€350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel.

Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include an interconnected network of cycleways. €300,000 is planned for an interconnected network of cycleways for the Gaelscoil Road/Chestnut Drive area, while The Flesk Walkway and Cycleway, Killarney is to get €123,866, as well as a further €186,527 for Rock Road.

Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said the funding from the National Transport Authority (NTA) will deliver high quality upgrades to walking and cycling infrastructure, with sustainable transport modes vital as the county emerges from the pandemic.

“I am pleased that Kerry County Council has been awarded funding which is part of an overall total of €289 million for approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects across the country,” Deputy Griffin said.

“Ensuring we have a good and efficient transport system in Kerry is essential for the future as we aim to make our communities and town centres more vibrant, in addition to making commuting to work and school safer and easier. Over the past two years we have spent more time enjoying our outdoor amenities and investing in active travel will also help us to meet our climate change obligations.”

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