Thurles Area Engineer Mr Ruairi Boland has told members of the Area Committee of North Tipperary County Council that he is very reluctant to make any sweeping chages to the Thurles traffic management plan, unitl such time as the Regional Water Supply Scheme and essential water/sewerage works have been carried out around the town.
Speaking at a meeting of the Area Committee this week, Mr Boland said that it would not make sense to undertake work on the streets and then have to undo it again as a result of having to dig up the streets for the water and sewerage works to be facilitated.
The Engineer was answering a number of queries in relation to the new Jimmy Doyle road and the impact this is having on traffic flow throughout Thurles town. A number of councillors were of the view that additional signage was necessary to direct heavy goods vehicles towards the new roadway, rather than having them coming through Thurles town. And, there were also suggestions that weight restrictions should be placed on Cuchulainn Road in order to prevent large trucks from using the road, thereby freeing up the junctions. A call for double yellow lines to be placed all along the length of the Jimmy Doyle road was also made by Cllr John Kennedy who described the abandonment of vehicles on that road on the days of big games in Semple Stadium as being “crazy”.
Mr Boland said, “ We have had a letter from An Garda Siochana asking about double yellow lines from the roundabout as far as the Cluain Glas estate and I am hoping to get this work done very quickly. This should also help to more clearly define the kerb from the white lines,” Mr Boland said in response to a problem identifed by Cllr Micheal Lowry.
Mr Boland said that with the water scheme commencing in Thurles and with streets having to be dug up in order to lay piping, he is reluctant to place any restrictions on streets for the time being. “It would be premature to do that right now, and then have to reverse it in another short while. However, I have noticed a massive reduction in the number of HGV’s using Rossa Street and Cuchulainn road, so they are using the Jimmy Doyle road at the moment,” Mr Boland said.
The water rehabilitation scheme which will run in tandem with the Regional Water Scheme will see the pipe network in the town up-graded in order to be able to take the increased pressure and to prevent leakage. A contractor has not been appointed to do this work as of yet, but it is hoped that this work will begin early in the new year. Most of the streets in the town will be affected in one way or another with this work, since the piping network, by and large, runs through the streets.
Mr Boland said that a full traffic management plan for Thurles should be looked at when all the works are completed and this will take in a review of the work done to date including the kerb build out at the Suir bridge which was caused quite a stir since it was installed as part of the up-grade to the bridge and footpaths in the area.
Meanwhile Cllr Seamus Hanafin asked if the footpaths on Cuchulainn road could be up-graded as they are being used extensively by pedestrians doing the loop with the Jimmy Doyle Road, Templemore Road and Castlemeadows.