Monasterevin residents want the controversial mass concrete footpaths, laid by the council without warning, to be removed as soon as possible.
That was the message conveyed by Cllr. Suzanne Doyle at the Kildare Area Committee meeting last Wednesday February 15.
She stressed the paths are posing problems for traffic accessing the junction of Whelan Street and Main Street, as well as pedestrians.
Cllr Doyle acknowledged officials had met with the residents and had undertaken to prepare a review for the March meeting.
However, she demanded the concrete be removed as part of the promised review, and if this did not happen, she said she would take the matter to the full council.
Up to 15 people from the town attended the meeting and clapped from the public gallery in support of Cllr. Doyle’s motion.
Speaking afterwards, Monasterevin Residents Committee chairperson, Caroline Curran said; “I thought the it went well and the council know the people of Monasterevin mean business and we are not going to put up with what has been foisted on us, where they put it and the state of it, you wouldn’t have this kind of thing in Naas or Newbridge.”
Earlier Cllr. Doyle told officials the residents were totally supportive of ensuring paths were accessible and that there was a safe pedestrian crossing but this was not the answer.
“The means in which this happened is not acceptable in that there was lack of consultation. I know the end of the year was coming up and the budgets had to be sorted but this is not acceptable,” she said.
She said it was “incredulous” the residents were informed at the previous meeting that it was acceptable for HGVs to go onto the other side of the road when rounding the corner. Cllr. Tony O’Donnell said this would pose a health and safety issue and surely that would be of concern to the local gardai.
Cllr. Frances Browne, Cllr Paddy Kennedy and Cllr, Spike Nolan all backed Cllr. Doyle’s call for the paths to be taken up.
The Kildare Area Engineer, Damien McNulty said the meeting with the residents had been held in good faith and that a review had been promised. He said if you ask any HGV driver, they often have to cross onto the other side of the road when turning bends in urban areas. He also said people had been parking up very close to the junction prior to the paths going down.
“We will take all the issues fully on board and a report is being prepared,” he said.
Cllr. Doyle explained that when the group came back from the meeting with officials, and informed the rest of the committee what was discussed, they were not happy with the outcome. Cllr. Doyle said she wanted the heritage value of the town to be assessed as well as health and safety issues. She said Monasterevin was known as the Venice of Ireland and this area was Monasterevin’s Merrion Row.
The area engineer said any action would have to wait until the review was complete as such remedial work may have to be revisited.