The proposed plan
Members of Kilkenny County Council voiced their concerns and objections to closing off the Dunningstown Road at an in-committee briefing meeting that took place today.
The proposal to change the traffic infrastructure to facilitate the development of a new school, includes closing off the Dunningstown Road and, according to residents, effectively cutting off their traditional route into the city.
Residents have lobbied local council members to come up with an alternative solution that does not involve closing their road.
When contacted by The Kilkenny People, Cathaoirleach Andrew McGuinness confirmed that the meeting did take place and that he, along with his council colleagues, voiced their support for the development of the school but insisted that an alternative traffic management plan be compiled.
“Today's briefing meeting was a robust discussion about the proposals that would impact on the Dunningstown Road. I made it very clear that I would not be supporting any closure of the Dunningstown Road and I insisted that alternative proposals be investigated immediately, including those that came directly from local residents. All of the elected members that spoke shared the same concerns.
“These meetings are quite normal when it comes to discussing potentially contentious issues and are an opportunity for us, as elected public representatives, to express our views at an early stage in any proposal. It was obvious that we all share the same views and if the proposals come before us for a vote in their present form, the likelihood is that they would be refused overwhelmingly by elected members.
“I’m not speaking on behalf of all of the elected members because todays meeting was ‘in-committee’ but I am confident that we are all on the same page with this issue. I will continue to voice the concerns of the residents and push for an alternative proposal that facilitates the school but does not impact negatively on local residents.
“Elected members were not part of any process that brought about the current proposal. It landed on our laps from Council executive and engineers. I do not accept that an alternative solution cannot be found and I hope that all future proposals of that nature will include the elected members at a very early stage so we can outline our concerns and ensure that local residents are not put out by any decision," he added.
Fine Gael councillor, Martin Brett told the Kilkenny People that he was opposed to the plan as it stands and added 'a lot of dialogue is needed' before a resolution is found.
"As it stands I am opposed to the plan. At the meeting today there was no voice in favour of the plans.
"There needs to be a lot of dialogue between local residents, councillors and county county officials in order to find a resolution that will be satisfactory to everyone," he said.
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