‘MOONCOIN OPEN FOR BUSINESS’

Traffic calming scheme officially opens as bypass debate remains a major topic.

Dermot Keyes reports

With the protracted roadworks on the N24 now thankfully behind locals and motorists alike, Mooncoin’s traffic calming and pavement rehabilitation scheme was officially opened on Tuesday afternoon last.

Pictured at the official opening of the Mooncoin Traffic Calming and Pavement Rehabilitation Scheme were, from left: Kilkenny County Council Chairperson Mary Hilda Cavanagh, and outgoing TDs Ann Phelan, John Paul Phelan and Bobby Aylward. 			| Photos: Joe Cashin

Pictured at the official opening of the Mooncoin Traffic Calming and Pavement Rehabilitation Scheme were, from left: Kilkenny County Council Chairperson Mary Hilda Cavanagh, and outgoing TDs Ann Phelan, John Paul Phelan and Bobby Aylward. | Photos: Joe Cashin

In wet and windy conditions, the scheme was officially opened by Kilkenny County Council Cathaoirleach Mary Hilda Cavanagh, who welcomed the delivery of the €2.5 million development.
“The project was not without setbacks, as poor ground conditions meant a deeper dig was necessary to complete the pavement reconstruction but Kilkenny County Council successfully obtained additional funds from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII),” said Cllr Cavanagh (FG).
“KC Civil Engineering Ltd were awarded the contract to undertake this project and we can now see the fruits of their labours, which promise tangible benefits to the local community and local businesses in the area.”
She added: “Thanks to these works, drivers and residents now have a better road, traffic noise levels have been reduced and we have a better landscape. Not only that, but the N24 carriageway has been standardised through Mooncoin which should reduce speeds and make life more comfortable for pedestrians.”
On the speed issue, which remains a contentious matter locally, Simon Walton, the Council’s acting Roads Director of Services, stated: “Before the scheme began, traffic surveys revealed that the (85th percentile) speed of vehicles going through the village was 72 kilometres an hour, but a recent survey showed that the speed had dropped to 60kph. Now, I know it’s a 50kph zone, but the surveyed decline in speed is a positive development, and we would appeal to all drivers to abide by the speed limits.”
Speed detection feedback signs on both approaches into Mooncoin have been widely welcomed, although fears about accelerating vehicles through the town’s midsection have been regularly discussed in recent weeks.
Pictured in Mooncoin on Tuesday last were, from left: Cllr Pat Dunphy (Piltown Municipal District Chairperson), Billy O' Keeffe, Mary Hilda Cavanagh (Chairperson of Kilkenny County Council) and Dick Walsh.

Pictured in Mooncoin on Tuesday last were, from left: Cllr Pat Dunphy (Piltown Municipal District Chairperson), Billy O' Keeffe, Mary Hilda Cavanagh (Chairperson of Kilkenny County Council) and Dick Walsh.

One motorist who passes through Mooncoin daily suggested that a speed van parked just off the main thoroughfare, between Coláiste Cois Siúire and Blanchfield’s Centra, would act as a further step to help reduce such accelerations. Another, a commercial driver, suggested a cost-effective variable speed limit camera system.
“I know that during the construction stage of this project there were significant disruptions to village life, to residents, traders and the travelling public at times,” said Cllr Cavanagh.
“I want to thank the people of Mooncoin for their patience during that time. I hope you will agree that the completed scheme was worth the disruption.”
Piltown Municipal District Chairman and Mooncoin-based Councillor Pat Dunphy (FG) expressed relief and satisfaction that the project was completed. “Mooncoin is open for business, and we can’t emphasise that more highly!
“It took a great deal of effort on behalf of the contractors to get the job done – a lot more than was initially expected – but thanks to their diligence and the co-operation of residents and local traders, we got there in the end. We’ve got our village back and that’s something we’re all very pleased about.”
According to FG colleague and general election candidate John Paul Phelan, who attended the opening: “The new scheme includes traffic calming, footpaths, drainage, a new surface, signage, a new pedestrian crossing and other safety measures. There were delays and headaches during the works but all involved now agree that it has really benefitted the area.”
Parish Priest Father Peter Muldowney was on hand to perform the blessing at an opening which was also attended by Kilkenny County Council CEO Colette Byrne, outgoing TDs Ann Phelan (Lab) and Bobby Aylward (FF) along with Councillors Fidelis Doherty (FG), Ger Frisby (FF) and Tomás Breathnach (Lab).

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