Sinn Fein councillor Kathleen Funchion has called on the local authorities to halt the Central Access Scheme and to complete Kilkenny’s ring road.
The borough councillor said that common sense dictates that was the best way forward. She pointed out that she is on the record as voting to ‘hold in abeyance’ the Central Access Scheme until the Ring Road is completed.
“One of the most important and certainly one which does not receive sufficient attention is the matter of safety and the deterioration of the quality of living for those residents who would be effected by the imposition of this new road,” she said.
“Contact with various resident groups, such as those on the Kennyswell Road, make this clear.”
Three of the 12 members of Kilkenny Borough Council are now on the record as opposing the scheme.
Cllr Funchion, who as a young girl was brought up on Lower Bridge Street in Callan, also recalled the years of campaigning people did to get a ring road around Callan due to problems with traffic coming right through the area.
“We had heavy traffic of all descriptions passing the door regularly and shaking the foundations of the houses,” she said.
“It was also a matter of safety. I was only 11 or 12 at the time but I well remember the demonstrations and traffic stoppages the people of Callan had to engage in at the time.”
Cllr Funchion said that archeologists would determine the value of the Vicar Street houses, but that irrespective, the priority must remain that the ring road be completed first.
“We don’t need the Central Access Scheme to access the Brewery site or the old Mart site,” she said.
“These are not locations that are inaccessible. The projections of the new road and bridge show how out of character they are with the rest of the city.
“It should be clearly remembered that if you proceed with the Ring Road first it may well prove that the Central Access Scheme is not necessary,” said the Sinn Fein councillor. “However, if you proceed with the Central Access Scheme first, you will inflict damage on our city that can never be undone.”