Kildare traffic management planning reform discussed and rejected at Council meeting

Proposal for dedicated team deemed unworkable

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Email:

henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare traffic management planning reform discussed and rejected at Council meeting

Newbridge Main Street

Officials at Kildare County Council have rejected a proposal to create dedicated teams of staff to create traffic management plans, which can currently cost up to €400,000 per town.

Cllr Suzanne Doyle proposed Kildare could set up the work teams in conjunction with other counties.

She said the plans were important for Kildare’s towns  – 18 would need them, and the teams could could save money on potential cost savings on “very expensively procured services” and support the growth of our towns to function effectively. She said that there could be €150m spent in Kildare town alone on housing and schools, with an additional €300,000 for traffic management.

Cllr Padraig McEvoy agreed saying such plans were a “huge job”.

READ MORE: Anger as NTA not going to fund traffic management plan in Kildare Town

Niall Morrissey, Director of Services for transportation, said the motion had “merit” and would allow Kildare County Council to control and advance the preparation, and subsequent updating, of Traffic Management Plans for each of our towns on a periodic basis, (repeated every 10 to 15 years for the six main towns).”

But he said such a team would be “a substantial cost”  to the local authority. It would require at least four technical staff and one administrative employee.

The estimate of resources required would be €400,000 per annum plus the initial establishment costs  (surveying equipment, traffic management software, office accommodation, overheads, etc.) He also said this estimate does not take into account the long term costs in regard to pension entitlements, etc.

He said the range of costs for securing the preparation of a Traffic Management Plan through this method is between €250,000 and €400,000, depending on the complexity of the network. The resultant Traffic Management Plan would not require revisiting for 10/15 years approximately.

Mr Morrissey said the suggestion of sharing the service with other local authorities is unlikely to be feasible and would remove much of the decision making from the individual local authority. It would obviously reduce the cost implications, however, in practice it would be difficult to secure efficiency and value for money as each county would have a substantial workload leading to competing priorities.

Cllr Brendan Young said the plans should transport plans, not just traffic plans. Cllr Doyle said the Council should have confidence in itself.