A bus stop and weighbridge in South Kilkenny which were funded, built and completed more than six years ago are still not in use, provoking an outpouring of frustration.
At the November meeting of Piltown Municipal District, local councillor Fidelis Doherty said it was totally unacceptable and shameful that the ‘very fine facilities’ were still not in use. Cllr Doherty said she had been inundated with queries over a long period of time on the matter, and the bus stop was due to be opened in May 2014. The matter is again up in the air as various route options are assessed for a new N25 Waterford to Glenmore road scheme.
“The fact that it is there and isn’t used — I have raised it loads of times, and it needs to be addressed,” she said.
“The weighbridge is there and it is not in use. If the bus stop is to come into use coming from Waterford toward New Ross only, with something on the left hand side that gives you a facility of a bus stop from New Ross to Waterford.
“It really is a shame, and I’m sorry, but I am getting a lot of grief about it. People are very concerned that what looks like a very fine facility isn’t in use.”
Cllr Doherty asked if it would come in under the Waterford to Glenmore scheme on the left hand side from the Glenmore side heading toward Waterford.
Area engineer Stan Cullen said it was intended a feasibility study would be carried out on Glenmore Hill for pedestrian, public transport and weighbridge facilities. He said the study would have to wait until the route selection for the new scheme, due by the end of the year, was completed as it would have an impact on its viability.
“It is due to be done once that route selection is completed,” he said. “So that feasibility study will be carried out on those facilities once the route is determined.”
Cllr Doherty was not totally satisfied with that. “Will it come into use? It’s been there a long time at this stage,” she said.
“Is it going to happen? We waited a long time for it to happen — it was supposed to be there for May of 2014, that didn’t happen. It is there a couple of years at this stage.
“On the left hand side, is there going to be provision for a bus stop, as was before? I know it will come under the route selection, but it is totally unacceptable to have a very fine facility there and not in use.”
Mr Cullen said that as long as the road remained a national primary road, it was for the TII to decide on the use of the facilities. However, he said if the route selection between Waterford and Glenmore moved offline at that location, a decision would need to be made whether that national route becomes a regional road or national secondary, or other.
He said if it continued to carry it as a dual carriageway it would have a bearing on facilities as they stand.
“Until the route selection is completed, we won’t know what the status for the road at Glenmore Hill will become or is likely to become, and it would be kind of premature to know whether the facilities can be brought into use in the future,” said Mr Cullen.
Cllr Pat Dunphy said he wished to support Cllr Doherty’s sentiments.
“This is going on for years, and I thought all that was done and dusted,” he said.
“Now we are talking about feasibility studies. Which means we are looking to see is it feasible to do this, after we agreed on that. Now I know the status of roads change, but at the same time, but the weighbridge is something we agreed on, and the bus stop.
“We are talking about rural transport, and trying to promote people to use buses. Yet, we have something here going on a number of years after being agreed and decided upon. And the TII seem to be stalling it for their own reasons, and not thinking of the public here.
“The public want a bus stop there. I’m not at all happy. The TII as we know are coming into everything and being a major stumbling block, in everything we do.
“They should be accountable to us here. We are elected to represent the people, and to hear the TII being used again that they are holding us back, tying our hands. I think we should tell them that.
“We should try some way to get them online, or a letter. I propose we write to them with the mood of this meeting and the way we are being treated.”
Cllr Eamon Aylward agreed the Municipal District should immediately write to TII expressing the fact they want the weighbridge open and the bus stop in place.
Concluding, Cllr Doherty said it was to have been operational by May 2014.
“It is just shameful really that we are in this situation. The waste of money, public spending and people being aggrieved that it’s there and not being allowed to be used. People don’t understand that,” she said.
“It went through all the design process, and still nothing after [six] and a half years.”