The National Roads Authority is carrying out a full review of signs on the new road network in South Kilkenny following the opening of the Waterford City Bypass and the new Waterford to Dublin motorway, a meeting of the Piltown Electoral Area Committee of Kilkenny County Council was told in Newrath last week.

Area Engineer Denis Lawlor said the NRA Project Team was engaged in the signage review and they were examining a number of locations where local councillors felt there was a deficiency in the current signs. Concern about the lane systems for the new roads and roundabouts was also relayed to the NRA Project Team.

Cllr Tomas Breathnack (Lab) said some of the lanes on the new roundabouts had ‘disappeared’, leaving drivers confused and not knowing where to go.

Cllr Pat Dunphy, Chairman, highlighted the situation in Luffany Village where the Council put in a new road surface some six years ago, since when the road had subsided quite a lot.

Mr Lawlor said he would be compiling a list of roads to be considered as part of the forthcoming three-year road programme. A draft of the programme would be presented to councillors for their consideration as part of the process. The extent of the works on an annual basis would be determined by the funding made available to the area under the Road Works Scheme.

Flooding investigation under way

Michael Quinn

A team of consultant engineers have started an investigation into flooding in South Kilkenny last winter after the opening of the new Waterford to Dublin motorway.

A pub and several houses in the Kilmacow area close to the new motorway were flooded for the first time in living memory and following protests by local people local members of the County Council called for a review of the M9 drainage system. The firm appointed for the task are Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers.

Area Engineer Denis Lawlor said the Project Team had started work and they would be talking to individuals in the Dunkitt area who experienced flooding.

A report was also being prepared on works to deal with major flooding incidents generally last winter. Access to private land was required at three locations at Dungooly, Ballinacurragh and Mullinavat and ongoing discussions were being held with the relevant landowners affected by flooding.

Dangerous ‘rat-run’ into New Ross

Michael Quinn

Truck drivers and motorists generally have turned a road in South Kilkenny into a rat-run to New Ross, a meeting of the Piltown Electoral Area Committee of Kilkenny County Council heard in Newrath last week.

Deep concern was expressed that 40 tonne trucks were descending the steep Rosbercon Hill through a residential area with a church, school and houses, to link-up with the New Ross to Waterford Road.

Angry residents living on the regional road from Mullinavat to New Ross have called on the Council to stamp out speeding before a serious traffic accident occurs. They are also demanding speed limit signs as well as signs warning against fly-tipping along the winding country road.

Since the opening of the Waterford City Bypass and the new motorway to Dublin, traffic patterns have changed noticeably in South Kilkenny and the volume of trucks and cars using the regional road to New Ross has greatly increased.

A three man deputation from the Ballynooney Residents Group is to meet South Kilkenny County Councillors to highlight the dangers posed by the new traffic trends. The Piltown Electoral Area Committee has also decided to contact New Ross Town Council urging them to impose a weight restriction on heavy vehicles going down Rosbercon Hill.

Cllr Eamon Aylward (FF), who lives on the road, said speeding traffic had made the route a nightmare and he could no longer let his children cycle on the road. Pedestrians were taking their lives in their hands each time they went out and locals wanted speed limit signs put up as a matter of urgency. The number of trucks now using the road had greatly increased.

40-ton trucks

Fine Gael’s Fidelis Doherty said 40 ton trucks were going down Rosbercon Hill when common sense would dictate that they should take ‘the fork’ and go down by Albatros and Mill Bank to reach the main road. The route from Mullinavat to Rosbercon was dangerous and twisting and the present dangerous situation should not be allowed to continue. Road signs should be erected at the fork on Rosbercon Hill, directing trucks down towards Albatros.

Cllr Tomas Breathnach (Lab) said the Mullinavat to Rosbercon Road was a classic case of traffic trying to get from A to C and the people living in the middle could be described as C. It was a well known walking area and a large amount of rubbish was being dumped there also.

Cllr Ann Marie Irish (FG) said the road was twisty, bumpy and extremely dangerous.

Piltown Area Engineer Denis Lawlor said the route was a reasonably well established one by hauliers on their way to New Ross. Substantial work was being carried out on a stretch of the road and he felt there was no definite solution to the problems raised by the residents. Speed could be reduced during the forthcoming speed limits review in the area. A bye-law would be necessary to prevent trucks from descending Rosbercon Hill, he said.

The Piltown Committee decided to write to New Ross Town Council seeking a follow-up meeting to one held earlier this year to discuss traffic problems in Rosbercon.