Hundreds of residents in Kildare town have vowed to fight a proposed new local Link Road which will cut off vehicles from a current direct access route to the town centre as well as to schools and shops.
A public meeting was held recently on the Kildare Town Northern Link and South Green Area Access Improvement Scheme.
Under an emerging preferred route, residents in the large Loughminane residential area will see Green Road access to the town centre cut off to vehicles, and a link road will be built which involves a estimated 1km detour from the Carmelite graveyard through two fields to the R445 Monasterevin Road.
A public information event involving staff from the Kildare Co Council's Roads, Transportation & Public Safety Department and from AECOM Consulting Engineers took place at Kildare Education Centre last week.
One resident said: “We welcome the improvement of existing roads and junctions but this preferred route will be a major inconvenience.
“Many vehicles use the existing Green Road route every day to access schools, shops, filling stations and the town centre area.
“This proposed route will also add more distance and more time for every day journeys by families including school runs.
“The last thing people want is to sit in traffic for longer periods, especially if they already commute long distances to work.”
Residents are being urged to send objections to the route to the council and to lobby their local councillors and TDs.
Kildare County Council said that a Northern Link for Kildare Town has been identified under a number of roads objectives in the Kildare Town Local Area Plan (LAP) 2012-2018 “to provide access to the motorway and railway station without the need to travel through the town centre”.
The proposed Kildare Town Northern Link aims to meet this objective by improving the road infrastructure between R415 Station Road and R445 Monasterevin Road via a route to the north-west of the Town Centre.
A Council spokesperson said: “The Northern Link will bring a number of benefits to Kildare Town and its inhabitants including reduced journey times, improved road cross-section with appropriate pedestrian and cyclist facilities, and reduced traffic congestion in the Town Centre, which will facilitate both wider public realm improvements and the protection of the heritage and character of the Town Centre.
“The proposed South Green Area Access Improvement Scheme will provide improved connectivity between the South Green Area, north of the Dublin-Cork/Galway railway line, and Kildare Town.”
The Kildare Town Local Area Plan 2012-2018 has identified that lands in the South Green Area “will facilitate the appropriate development of a sustainable new neighbourhood in the town over a 15–20 year period”.
“The LAP has also identified the need to improve the road infrastructure between the South Green Area and the Town Centre including the need to develop high quality pedestrian and cyclist linkages.
“The proposed scheme will provide the necessary improvements to road infrastructure to accommodate the growth and development potential in the South Green Area over the coming years including the replacement of South Green Road Railway Bridge.”
Consultants said the preferred route will reduce car congestion and enhance the attractiveness of Kildare Town centre.
Kildare County Council said would acquire any lands necessary through the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process.
A copy of the emerging preferred route may be inspected until July 10 at Kildare Town Library and Kildare Co Council’s offices in Naas.
A copy of the emerging preferred route will also be available to view on KCC’s website www.kildare.ie/countycouncil.