Noonan: Ring road is 20 years away –not seven

A local county councillor has rejected the assertion by the president of Kilkenny Chamber that the ring road will be completed in seven years.

A local county councillor has rejected the assertion by the president of Kilkenny Chamber that the ring road will be completed in seven years.

In a recent interview with the Kilkenny People, Chamber president Donie Butler said that the outer relief road it is due to be completed within seven years. But Green Party councillor Malcolm Noonan says this is inaccurate.

“The timeline presented to members of Kilkenny Electoral Area Committee in June of this year is about ten years (2023) for the Freshford to Castlecomer Road Section, and 2034 for a completed ring road,” he said.

Those projections are contingent on funding, Compulsory Purchase of lands, EIS, assessment by An Bord Pleanala, and assuming that there are no planning objections to either project.

He said in the meantime, residents on Kennyswell Road, the Butts, Stephen Street, Dominic Street and the schools and hospitals along the affected routes will continue to suffer from inadequate infrastructure, exacerbated further by the CAS.

“A completed ring road will open up all sorts of urban mobility possibilities within the city core. The Abbey Creative Quarter does not need the CAS. There was little to connect both projects during Kilkenny County Council’s justification for the scheme in 2007,” he said.

Cllr Noonan said that if Kilkenny Chamber are serious about protection and enhancement of the retail core and in assisting agricultural and other haulage contractors operate efficiently, they should be lending their support to the Campaign to complete Kilkenny’s Ring Road.

“Chamber is supporting a project that will destroy our heritage reputation, damage the retail core of the city, stifle the efficient movement of produce, goods and services around the region and shift the fulcrum of the city towards out of town development,” he said.

Cllr Noonan also disagreed with the assertion that the CKRR is a ‘vocal minority’.

“We are in fact a silent majority; 6,500 people signed a petition to complete the ring road first, which was presented to both councils,” he said.