THE traffic on the Burnchurch road has been described as “worse than my worst fears” by Cllr Tom Maher (Fine Gael) who had said that the road would be over run by traffic after the opening of the new M9 motorway.
Cllr Maher was calling on the council to introduce weight restrictions at the bridge between Burnchurch and Sevenhouses to try and cut down on the number of HGV’s that have been using the regional road as a short-cut to the Dublin Waterford motorway. While Cllr Billy Ireland (Fine Gael) felt that the biggest danger was at the Burnchurch National school when the children are coming out on to a busy road at 3pm.
The Callan Area Engineer Seamus Foley criticised the National Roads Authority for failing to take into account the effect that the opening of the motorway would have on regional roads in the area. He said “The NRA didn’t do a survey on the numbers beyond the national roads which is a bit of a mistake.” Mr Foley conducted a survey of the road and it revealed that there were more than 600 vehicles using the road daily and about 10% of those are heavy goods vehicles. The figures were so high that Mr Doran has undertaken is planning to under take a second survey of road usage before going to the NRA to look for a solution to the problem.
Cllr Maher felt that the figures Mr Foley had collected were accurate. He said “There are trucks going down that road from 4am in the morning till 11am at night. I’m absolutely sure that your figures are right. The only real way to cut down on the numbers would be to put weight restriction on the bridge but that might cause problems for people in the area unless it was done by agreement. It might make life very difficult for people who live in the area and have to work in the area.
“We always suspected that when the motorway opened that the road would get busy, but we never thought it would get as busy as it has. The fact is that the traffic is more likely to increase on the road than decrease on it. People from the Callan area are more likely to go across by Burnchurch than go into Kilkenny and across to the motorway and that’s what is happening and its only worse that it is going to get.”