The footpath outside St Colman’s NS is to be widened to accommodate a cycle path.

Dollard fears motorists will turn cycle path into car park

An admission that he was afraid that motorists will turn a stretch of path near St Colman’s NS into a car park if it is made wider was made by Cllr Mick Dollard at the October meeting of the Mullingar Kinnegad Municipal District (MKMD) as he reacted to a council solution to a problem he raised.

Cllr Dollard had asked that the MKMD arrange to put in place double yellow lines between Murphy’s and Russell’s on the Delvin Road beside St Coleman’s. He said some motorists dropping children to school are parking there and blocking the entrances to houses.

Cllr Dollard made clear he had reservations about the reply from officials, which was that the footpath will be widened at that location in the current year to create an off-road cycleway.

“My fear is that this widened footpath is actually going to be used now as a car park,” Cllr Dollard said, pointing out that as things stand, motorists are parking on the footpath opposite Assumption Villas.

Director of services, Martin Murray, said that once the work is done, if things happen in the way Cllr Dollard is predicting, the council will then consider putting down a double yellow line.

“I’m not saying it is not needed, but let us carry out the works first, and hopefully, working with the board of management and working with the school, we will have this piece of infrastructure that is going to be much clearer, and more clearly defined,” he said.

A second motion raised by Cllr Dollard related to the same area: he was calling on the MKMD to replace the damaged tactile paving slabs on the footpath opposite Assumption Villas.

“This is a direct consequence of what I was talking about: cars parking on paths,” he said. The response from the MKMD stated that the slabs – used as a guide for visually-impaired people – will be examined and replaced where necessary.

At the same meeting, Cllr Dollard asked that the MKMD remove the ‘Ecoflex’ surface from the footpaths in Ginnell Terrace and repair the concrete footpaths as the condition of those footpaths is dangerous for pedestrians.

“Ginnell Terrace can be considered for footpath funding in the context of the 2021 Estimates,” was the response to his proposal.

In response to a further representation, Cllr Dollard was assured that footpath repairs will be carried out between Springfield Cottages and the Dublin Bridge in January and February 2021.

Asked what form the repairs were to take, council official Paul McCool stated that the intention was to upgrade the footpath in front of the cottages and then widen the footpath from there to the Dublin Bridge.

To Cllr Dollard’s request that the two estate signs at Beech Grove and Bellview be cleaned at an early date, the response from the council was that the work had already been undertaken.