The approved new bridge over the River Nore would reduce traffic on Greens Bridge by half and allow for the refurbishment of the 230-year-old bridge, according to information submitted on behalf of Kilkenny County Council.
In deciding to give approval to the Central Access Scheme plans, the An Bord Pleanála inspector’s report highlights these benefits, although it also notes that “the proposed bridge would dramatically alter views to and from Greens Bridge.”
The average number of vehicles travelling over Greens Bridge in 2015 would be 19,164 without the new bridge, or reduced to 9,417 vehicles per day with the new bridge in place, according to the environmental impact statement (EIS).
Quoting the original report, the inspector found:
“Safety issues for a variety of road users exist with regard to the existing bridge and on that basis alone a bridge that can cater for pedestrians and cyclists is required. Greens Bridge is not appropriate for use by public transport and a satisfactory route across the river is required for buses.
“The need for a replacement bridge and for remediating Greens Bridge is considered the over-riding need which has been identified in the EIS and at the oral hearing. The function of the bridge in relation to the type and volume of traffic to be handled would need to be further examined given the age of the structure (1776) and the very unsatisfactory footpath arrangement in place at present.”
“With the passage of three years since the original application, the requirement to have a replacement for Greens Bridge has not diminished,” the inspector wrote.