Thursday, August 08, 2019

“IT’S LIKE trying to make a Christmas cake without a recipe,” was how one councillor described efforts to impose a traffic management plan (TMP) on Kildare town without a start date or timeline.

Cllr Suzanne Doyle had enquired as to the schedule of delivery on the TMPs for both Kildare and Newbridge at this month’s meeting of the Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District (MD) on 17 July.

She was reminded by Evelyn Wright from the Roads Department that the MD members had already accepted the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) proposal for Newbridge in March, and was awaiting word from the NTA on progressing this.

However, her tone hardened when she heard the status for Kildare was well behind this because of its more complex needs.

In her reply, Ms Wright explained that the overall Kildare TMP was reliant on the completion of two other projects for the town – the Northern Link and Southern Green Access Improvement schemes.

These are being pushed through at the moment to provide access to the motorway and railway station without having to go through the town, and to improve the connectivity of South Green to the town, and are currently at the public consultation stage.

“The [TMP] will be developed as Phase 2…and will require a procurement process – there is no timeline for this phase at this time,” said Ms Wright.

“This is a heritage town, with small roads, stuck between a motorway and a railway bridge, and we’re still awaiting a decision on McGee Barracks,” said Cllr Doyle, who is also the Mayor of co Kildare.

“I’m not terribly reassured,” she added.

Ms Wright told the meeting she would “seek clarification from the senior engineer” but Cllr Doyle pressed on.

“We need the recipe. A traffic management plan for the town is needed, otherwise we’re flying blind,” she added, before two other members chipped in to point out shortcomings in the Newbridge plan.

“Most people in Newbridge are not aware of the changes in their TMP,” said Cllr Noel Heavey.

“The [public] consultation has not yet happened in Newbridge,” added Cllr Mark Stafford.

However, under the terms of the Act a public consultation is not a statutory requirement for a TMP.

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By finian coughlan
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