Muckross Road narrowing prompts protest in Killarney

The narrowing of arguably the busiest tourist road in the country, the N71 Muckross Road in Killarney, saw an impromptu meeting on the roadside amid growing frustration over traffic flow in the town.

Muckross Road narrowing prompts protest in Killarney

The traffic calming measures have left residents, business owners and road users seeing red.

A special meeting of the Killarney area council is being held today to clarify the almost €1m road works under which footpaths are being widened to include raised cycle lanes on either side of the road and pipes are being set underground.

Residents and business owners say they knew nothing of the plans until they were under construction and claim there will be nowhere for cars to pull in to allow an ambulance through on the busy road.

They also say the narrower road will lead to complete choking of traffic.

The road way leading from the town to the Flesk Bridge is normally jammed with coaches, road-trains, jaunting cars, and cyclists, as well as cars going in and out of the dozens of hotels and B&Bs which line the road.

Independent councillor Brendan Cronin said the traffic calming works were only advertised in one newspaper and they should have been advertised more widely.

Brendan Cronin
Brendan Cronin

Just six submissions, most of them acknowledgements from statutory bodies, were received because people did not know about them, he said. The National Roads Authority (NRA) had asked the council to undertake the traffic calming works because of concern about the number of accidents on the road — up to seven in recent years, said Mr Cronin.

Council engineers claim the Muckross Road will be narrower but will be the same width as the Mission Road which leads to the N72.

However, residents say like is not being compared with like.

There are dozens of entrances and exits on the Muckross Road to hotels, B&Bs and housing estates, one of the concerned residents at the evening protest said.

“The Muckross Road is one of the main thoroughfares into and out of the town, and the new arrangements will make the problems on the Muckross Road even worse,” one local resident said.

Kerry County Council are expected to outline their rationale for the Muckross Road at today’s meeting.

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