Safety concerns have been raised over the absence of a proper footpath at Tyone bridge by Cllr Tom Moylan. While welcoming the long awaited road resurfacing and footpath upgrading for Tyone and the Thurles road area, he has raised concerns over the ongoing work to the bridge and especially the location of the pedestrian footpath along the bridge.
Cllr Moylan explained that for a long number of years he has raised the issue of the narrowness of the bridge and its unsuitability to accommodate both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
He had hoped that when North Tipperary County Council was proposing these badly need works be carried out in Tyone, that they would give serious consideration to widening the bridge as there has been a long history of tragic accidents taking place there.
Unfortunately the council did not proceed with widening the bridge and has now commenced to install a footpath on the bridge which cannot accommodate vehicular traffic as it stands, said the Fine Gael town councillor.
“At the very least, the council should have installed a pedestrian footbridge along the outside of the bridge to make it safe for both motorists and pedestrians. This would have had the effect of providing safe access for pedestrians to cross the bridge and also help give some extra space for motorists,” he said
Cllr Moylan is now calling on North Tipperary County Council to halt its current work on Tyone bridge and provide a footbridge along the outside of the bridge.
The residents in the area feel very strongly in relation to this issue and feel that this is the only sensible solution to the problem, he said.
The issue was raised at this Monday’s Nenagh Town Council meeting by Cllr Moylan, who said landowners had no problem discussing giving access for a pedestrian walkway. He pointed out the motorists came on the bridge out of dangerous bends on both approaches.
The bridge is a protected structure, but pointing out that it had a history of accidents, Cllr Moylan asked: “How can a protected structure take precedent over someone’s life?”
Town manager Marcus O’Connor replied that the problem at the bridge was one of width and that a decision had been made to raise the footpath for pedestrian safety.
He revealed that the council will install signs warning truck drivers that they must give way when two truck meet at the bridge.
Town engineer Peter Fee said the work was only half done and people “may have a different view” when it is finished.