Naas street works just 2 weeks before Punchestown Racing Festival is being slammed by County Councillor as 'crazy'

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Naas street works just 2 weeks before Punchestown Racing Festival is being slammed by County Councillor as 'crazy'
By Louise McCarthy 7:37 Thursday 12th of April 2018

Shock is being voiced by Naas businesses that major works are now underway on the Main St, just two weeks before the Punchestown Racing Festival.

Kildare County Council is being slammed by Fine Gael Cllr Fintan Brett for ordering the works start, without any notice to businesses or elected representatives.

According to Kildare County Council,the long anticipated works are expected to take place for seven weeks, and began this week.

Cllr Brett said: "I think it is crazy that this is happening. The problem is that these are the most welcome works in Naas, for years, but they have come at the wrong time. Why ruin something that is brilliant by doing it at the wrong time?. This is a bad decision, five business people in particular are voicing concerns about this."

According to Cllr Brett, he just got an email days after the works began and had no idea that these works were going to happen, just two weeks before the hotly anticipated festival.

He is urging the contractors and Kildare County Council to reach an agreement so that the works can take place overnight.

The works include new ducting to facilitate the undergrounding of ESB cables and the provision of new public lighting poles and other minor civil works. The works extend from the Presbyterian Church to the former Superquinn entrance.

Cllr Brett estimates that the works currently taking place will cost about €60,000. The funding for the works is coming from Local Property Tax, says Cllr Brett.

A Kildare County Council statement said:"Discussions with the main contractor and ESB are ongoing with respect to the impact of increased pedestrians and road traffic in the vicinity during the Punchestown Festival.  The council will continue to monitor the works to ensure there is minimal disruption to businesses in the area during the Festival week."

He said: "These works require coordination between the council's Roads Department/Engineer overseeing the works, the Naas MD Engineer, ESB and their contractor, the main works contractor and sub contractors, in addition to coordination with local businesses and ensuring that pedestrian and road safety is maintained for the duration of the works."
Naas Regeneration Group on social media said: "Who sanctioned this work to be carried out with Punchestown only two weeks away and an estimated 130,000 visitors coming to the area. "
Another part of the statement said: "For the businesses there will be a limited supply of electricity throughout the duration of the works.
Because of all the disruption this will cause the businesses the people of the town, school children, wheelchair users ,we have emailed KCC and the Councillors to postpone this work until after Punchestown and to also consider doing this work at night."

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