Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thompson's Cross and Scoil Bhride crossings: the last word for 2016

As we reach Christmas, there’s been further clarification on a number of matters relating to recent works in Kilcullen by Kildare County Council, writes Brian Byrne. I’m grateful to Cllr Rob Power, who took the time to get comprehensive answers to outstanding questions.

In relation to the controversial Thompson’s Cross latest works, a motion at Tuesday’s Naas MD meeting calling for a safety audit and the provision of a roundabout was passed by agreement of all councillors present.

The only comment from officials was to say that a roundabout ‘could not be financed from local funds alone’.

“I hope that the result of a safety audit will help persuade national organisations responsible that funding a roundabout in this location is absolutely necessary in order to avoid a very serious incident,” Cllr Power told the Diary.

On the Cnoc na Greine Avenue and Community Centre junction works, Cllr Power says they were completed to a design agreed with Kildare County Council, following representations about improving safety. Subsequently, councillors and the area engineer met with local parents, residents, Scoil Bhride Principal Anne Flanagan, and Martin Heydon TD to discuss solutions on site.

“The primary concerns were around safety,” Cllr Power says, “allowing greater visibility for motorists and pedestrians, extending the footpaths, ramps to encourage safer driving and railings to improve safe access in and out of a gate in front of the school. Discussions were had about making safe a crossing at the top of the road near the pitch and putt, but it was agreed that putting a bridge here would be cost prohibitive.”

The councillor notes that, as is common with such works, there is ducting for a controlled crossing at the new red speed ramp on Cnoc na Greine Avenue, but there’s no allocation to provide lights, which can cost up to €50,000.

“Subject to funding, there is of course the possibility to make additions to the roadworks in and around Castlemartin/Cnoc Na Greine with new requests and I'll be reaching out to local residents and road users to seek opinions on this.”

However, Cllr Power also expressed concern on reports that the new speed ramp is not slowing down cars, and that ‘this road may be more dangerous than before’.

“This is concerning to me given that the road is part of an estate. If there is speeding or dangerous driving in the estate, people should hopefully recognise the car or driver and should report it.”