A TRAFFIC management plan for Kildare town that will inform future activity is needed sooner rather than later, according to Mayor of Kildare Co Council Suzanne Doyle.
That was one of the topics discussed at a recent public meeting attended by around 150 people, chaired by Cllr Doyle and attended by a number of other public representatives. The meeting was held in Áras Bhríde in response to concerns expressed regarding the proposed Kildare Town Northern Link and South Green Area Access Improvement Scheme.
The delivery of a traffic management plan for the town was viewed by those who attended the meeting as a priority. It has been requested on a number of occasions since 2014, with LPT funding allocated, but it still has not been done.
Concerns were also raised that the route impacts on residents’ ease of access from the South Green/Loughminane area into the town centre, and that the preferred route for the project runs too close to the town centre.
According to Kildare Co Council, a Northern Link was identified under a number of roads objectives in the Kildare Town Local Area Plan for 2012-2018, including “to provide access to the motorway and railway station without the need to travel through the town centre”. It said the link will improve road infrastructure between the R415 Station Road and R455 Monasterevin Road via a route to the north-west of the town centre, with benefits including reduced journey times and traffic congestion.
It noted that the second aspect of the proposed road scheme (re the South Green area) will provide “improved connectivity between the South Green Area, north of the Dublin-Cork/Galway railway line, and Kildare Town”. The council added that the proposal will provide the required improvements to accommodate the growth and development potential in the South Green area in the coming years, such as the replacement of the South Green Road railway bridge.
Route selection has been carried out as a “stepped” process, with Northern Link options assessed first followed by those for the South Green scheme to “identify the optimum overall end-to-end route”. Details of an emerging preferred route which the council says will have the most benefit for all road users have been published, a route that includes blocking vehicular access to the town centre via Pigeon Lane.
The council has also noted that land acquisition would be required for the scheme should it go ahead. “Kildare Co Council would acquire any lands necessary through the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process,” it stated.