12 Aug 2022

Fears for safety as young children regularly crossing busy Kilkenny road with horses and bikes

Councillor says signs should be installed

Fears for safety as young children regularly crossing busy Kilkenny road with horses and bikes

Two young children ride a sulky on the Hebron Road in Kilkenny City.

Young children are crossing the road with horses and bikes at the busy Hebron Road roundabout, and a local councillor says he’s worried there is going to be a serious accident.

Cllr Joe Malone raised the issue at this week’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council. The Fianna Fail councillor said that in Kildare, there were plenty of signs around stud farms and other places indicating horses may be crossing.

“There should be some kind of a sign to warn people,” he said, warning that children as young as five or six are using the road.

“And there has to be a dialogue with the community there and others about unsupervised youngsters with sulkies. There is a serious safety issue there.”

Cllr Andrew McGuinness raised the issue of the old derelict house on the other side of the ring road from the Hebron Road. He is concerned that there is a public safety issue there due to people entering the site without permission.

“There seems to be an unofficial right-of-way erected – three to four gates with paths worn there,” he said.

“On a daily basis you see young children walking through, sometimes leading horses. I'm sure there's no planning permission for those gates.”

The comments formed part of a wider discussion on the proposed Hebron Road urban design strategy, which the council hopes will resolve many of the problems the area is experiencing. A public consultation evening in February was attended by about 60 people.

The main issues are things like traffic speed, as well as funerals and match day parking. A number of proposals have now been put forward to create a 'mixed-use corridor' through incremental improvements.

Senior planner Denis Malone has said that the derelict house in question is in private ownership. He told Cllr McGuinness it was not within the design strategy study area, however, the council could look at it and see if the entrances are unauthorised.

He said he did not have any particular proposal around signage, but took Cllr Malone’s point. Cathaoirleach Matt Doran asked if [Denis] Malone could liaise with the roads section on the matter. Mr Malone said he would write it into the statement and it could be an objective in that.

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