By Noel Dundon
Members of North Tipperary County Council from the Thurles area are to maintain pressure on the National Roads Authority and the Governmen t to move along the proposed Thurles by-pass project which has recently selected the preferred route for the roadway.
The by-pass has been shelved for the time being as part of the Governments capital projects cuts, but the feeling at local level is that there is still much to be gained by pressing ahead and arriving at a stage where it would be very easy to progress should money become available. Councillor Seamus Hanafin raised the issue at a recent meeting of the area committee in Thurles and said that a deputation should be arranged to the Minister to establish where exactly the Thurles by-pass project now stands.
“We were late with the route selection process by the bones of a year and the last thing we want now is for this plan to be left lying in a drawer and gathering dust,” Cllr Hanafin said.
Chairman of the Area Committee, Cllr Billy Clancy said that he felt the members have a responsibility and duty as elected representatives to pursue this matter.
Cllrs John Kennedy and Jim Ryan agreed to seek a deputation and added that the local TD’s should also be included so that local input and influence can be used as much as possible.
Thurles Town Clerk Mr Michael Ryan said that the NRA will only work through North Tipperary County Council and it was agreed to seek a deputation through the County Council route.
Meanwhile, Thurles Area Engineer, Mr Ruairi Boland informed members that a number of issue which have arisen in recent times over the new link road between the Nenagh and Templemore roads, are being worked through.
Cllr John Kennedy had raised a number of issues including ensuring that double yellow lines would be put in place at the TI roundabout and in front of the entrance to the Community Hospital of the Assumption and new ambulance base - vehicles had parked all over the place for one of the games in Semple Stadium recently, he said. He also asked for detailed signage to be erected on the Templemore road so that road users would be well aware of where the new link would taken them, and avoid vehicles having to travel into the town centre. Cllr Kennedy raised an issue regarding the height of a wall at Cluain Glas and also pointed out that the Leugh road is in very bad condition as a result of all the work and the repair to water mains which resulted in the surface being dug up.
Cllr Seamus Hanafin said that he had no doubt that the link road would be a great asset to the town, provided the ground rules are correct from the off. There were concerns about the Cluain Glas wall being too low, he said, and he also pointed out that the road verges have deteriorated considerably on the Leugh Road. Inlets needed to be opened, he said, in order to get water off the roadway.
Mr Boland told members that he had addressed a number of issues raised including the entrance to the Hospital of the Assumption and ambulance base. He added that parking enforcement is the responsibility of the Gardai and the council cannot police this aspect.
In terms of appropriate signage on the Templemore road, Mr Boland said that an inventory will be undertaken in advance of the road opening and the signage ordered.
The Leugh road water issue has also been tended to, he said, and he added that the wall at Cluain Glas will be built to a height of 1.6 metres.