Trucks leading to gridlock in Tipperary town
“Many of the submissions object to the roadworks because of the huge number of existing traffic going through Tipp town and the fact that these would have to be diverted for two years. - Cllr Anne Marie Ryan
March5Tipp, Jobs4Tipp and Tipperary Chamber of Commerce have issued a joint statement by way of reaction to the public submissions in relation to the proposed N24/N74 roadworks through Tipperary town.
The statement issued this week reports that an unprecedented number of submissions were made on the planned roadworks in Tipperary Town - 260 submissions in total were received, we understand.
March4tipp Councillor Annemarie Ryan (pictured right) has read all the submissions and believes an overwhelming majority of submissions are not in favour of the roadworks going ahead until the traffic is removed from the town centre.
According to Cllr Ryan, the submissions can be interpreted as follows: 191 against; 44 for, but with changes; 7 neutral; and 18 invalid as they arrived after the closing date. A petition was also handed in with 326 signatures against the proposed roadworks.
Cllr Anne Marie Ryan
“Many of the submissions object to the roadworks because of the huge number of existing traffic going through Tipp town and the fact that these would have to be diverted for two years. These submissions argue that diverting 70,000 plus weekly vehicle movements to carry out two years of roadworks is unacceptable.
“The town will be gridlocked with traffic, making it very difficult and unpleasant to live, work and visit Tipperary Town. The town is already congested with HGV movements, most people find themselves in tail backs as they try to get from one end of town to the other. Factoring in large scale, long term roadworks on top of an already congested town is a recipe for disaster for the town’s future.
“Tipperary County Council accept that the roadworks will not address traffic congestion, nor the noise and air pollution caused by heavy traffic. The council have previously stated that two separate schemes are running in parallel: town centre roadworks and the proposed N24 Realignment. March4tipp, Jobs4Tipp and the Chamber argue that the council are once again putting the cart before the horse.
“Expecting the town centre roadworks to go ahead, before the delivery of a Ring road or Bypass is unacceptable to the local community, this is borne out in the large number of submissions objecting to the proposed roadworks.
“Furthermore, there is a lot of concern expressed in the submissions about the current design. Tipperary Town Chamber and Jobs4tipp argue that the removal of virtually all parking spaces from the Main street, (leaving the town centre with 4) will negate heavily upon town centre retail, both daytime and night-time trade. Interestingly, Cashel has 58 parking spaces on their Main Street and 2 bus stops. It seems that Tipperary will be left with 4 parking spaces in the current plan. Nor is there provision for set down for buses along the Main Street. This is despite being raised many times by the Chamber/March4tipp and Jobs4tipp as key to encouraging tourism within the town centre.
“One of the first priorities of the new Government (in the Programme For Government) was to mandate all local authorities to carry out a review of their cycling policies (with the view to developing cycle networks) yet there are no cycle lanes to be provided for in this scheme. All three groups argue that the purpose of this scheme prioritises the passage of traffic through the town.
“ The design must fit the needs of the road carriageway ie, the N24, not the needs of the community. Public realm enhancement should be about what works best for the community, for residents, pedestrians, cyclists, car users and lastly HGVs, this cannot be achieved while the N24 carves a hole through our town.
“Furthermore, residents along the N74 will be left with reduced options for private parking outside their homes and parking at the graveyard has been reduced to 30 spaces with no contingency in place to accommodate further parking needs.
A workshop is being held with councillors on Tuesday January 19 to discuss the submissions and the council’s response.
The vote on the roadworks will take place on January 28. The three groups are urging people to contact their local councillors to express their opinion on the upcoming proposed roadworks.