The Kells Road has taken another significant step towards a long-awaited realignment, as a major tract of land required for the scheme has now been acquired by Kilkenny County Council.
The council has been in talks with the three relevant landowners since February this year. An agreement has now been reached with the owner of the largest section of property, meaning over 60% of the land necessary for the scheme has now been acquired.
Discussions remain under way for the remaining parcels of land. The council has said that a Compulsory Purchase Order will be sought if necessary.
Chairman of the Kilkenny local area committee John Coonan, who has been a proponent of the scheme from the beginning, has said the purchase is another step in the right direction.
“I welcome this acquisition as a positive step,” said Cllr Coonan. “It will make the road much safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and greatly improve the visibility. I would hope to see work commencing in September/October of this year.”
Kilkenny County Council has allocated €250,000 for the project, with an additional €400,000 set aside from state funds. The project will advance in two stages, with the first phase comprising a new footpath running from the Rosehill estate all the way to the ring road, and the provision of retaining walls/fences. Phase two comprises full realignment, including the balance of paths and cycle tracks, and new public lighting and overhead services.