There is a difference of opinion in Maryville, Kildare town as to whether an access point should be included in the Rathbride railway bridge wall.
Resident, Gerry O’Callaghan said there was a unofficial gap in the wall for 11 years and people have been using the shortcut for 30 years.
“There are over 1,000 people a week using it between school kids walking to the secondary school and older people using it to access the town,” he said.
He said the residents opposed to including an access point handed in a petition with 130 names, while residents supporting the access had amassed 230 names.
The wall is now almost complete and has been repaired without the access point. Mr O’Callaghan and Brendan Thomspon want the access restored officially. Mr O’Callaghan said the shortcut shaves 20 minutes off the walk to KTCS, and 15 minutes to the town, and is much safer than the alternative route.
Cllr. Suzanne Doyle said while there is a lot of merit in what Mr O’Callaghan is trying to achieve, the majority of people in Maryville want don’t want the access point.
A spokesperson for the Maryville Residents Association said the overwhelming majority of houses had written individual letters to the council requesting access not be provided.
She said they did not want a return to anti-social behaviour problems, robberies from thieves using the train to travel down from Dublin, and for the estate to be used as an unofficial car park for train users to avoid pay parking.
She said the shortcut only cuts the walk to the town by about four minutes.
The council said; “Irish Rail are repairing the bridge wall to its original condition. Kildare County Council are aware of the works but are not directly involved.”