A slow drive protest is planned for this Friday (December 4) through Tipperary Town as part of a campaign to highlight opposition to further roadworks on the N24 going through the town until a Ring Road is prioritised.
Last Thursday 26th November was the closing date for submissions for the proposed N24/N74 Main Street/Father Mathew Street Roadworks, Tipperary Town.
March4tipp members Annemarie Ryan and Lisa McGrath drove to Nenagh last Thursday morning and handed in 144 submissions on behalf of the businesses and residents of Tipperary Town and Hinterlands. In addition to the 144 submissions they delivered, Director of Services for Roads Marcus O'Connor, stated at a budget workshop that he had already received a large amount of submissions. March4Tipp estimates over 250 submissions have been made in relation to the project. It is likely that Tipperary County Council have never received such a huge volume of submissions on one of their own Part 8 plans. All the submissions received will be presented to Councillors at a workshop on Monday 7th December with a possible vote taking place at the December Municipal meeting.
A slow drive protest is planned for next Friday 4th December at 4pm through Tipperary Town along the proposed route. The group want to highlight to local Councillors, community opposition to further roadworks until the town is prioritised for a Ring Road. People are asked to gather in their cars at the Sky Innovation Park at 3.45pm and drive through Tipp Town along the N24 and ending at the Council offices on Rosanna Road. Jobs4Tipp and Tipperary Town Chamber will be supporting the protest drive by standing at prime locations along the N24 and outside shopfronts, with placards of support against the roadworks.
'There is an overwhelming feeling in Tipperary Town that now is not the time to undertake major intensive roadworks' says March4tipp Cllr Annemarie Ryan. 'We saw the difficulties businesses faced when the Davitt Street project was undertaken, that was scheduled for 9 months and took 12 months. The Main street / Fr Mathew street works are a two year project which will gridlock the town and effectively shut down Tipperary Town. We are still struggling with the fallout of Covid 19, businesses may be only getting back on their feet when they will be faced with two further years of disruptive roadworks. Furthermore, residents along Father Mathew Street have completely been ignored with a large removal of residential parking and no alternatives offered to them.'
Lisa McGrath of March4Tipp: 'Tipp town suffers from over 70,000 weekly traffic movements, yet the Council think it is reasonable to divert traffic (many are HGV's) through back roads, past schools and through residential areas, in order to strengthen a road that will ultimately cement the N24 into the heart of our town. No major roadworks should be undertaken until Tipperary County Council and the National Transport Agency first address the major volume of traffic causing air and noise pollution and stifling our town. We are choked with traffic, adding large scale roadworks to the mix is just madness,'
March4tipp's Connie O'Dwyer argues that the new daily ferry service from Rosslare to Dunkirk will only add to the heavy load of HGVs driving along the N24 through the town enroute to the Port. 'We will see an increase in HGV's accessing mainland Europe directly from Ireland. Rosslare will play a key role in avoiding the Land bridge as Trucks will be able to bypass the UK and sail direct to mainland Europe. But Tipperary Town will not be bypassed and many of these trucks will drive along the N24 through our town centre.’
We are asking people to join the slow protest drive on Friday at 4pm, but before you do maybe come into town a bit earlier or stay after the protest and do some Christmas shopping. Our local shops are the heart of our town, they need us and we need them now more than ever.
Tipperary Town Chamber, March4Tipp and Jobs4Tipp are working together to push for a Ring Road for the town. Each organisation recognises the need to remove the N24 out of the town and believe that Tipperary Town deserves a better deal from their Local Authority and from Government. Promises of a bypass that may never happen is not an option, the town cannot wait that long for a solution for the health and welfare of the community of Tipperary Town.