New footpaths in Monasterevin have prompted a storm of protest in the town, where locals fear the paths have hindered the progress of traffic to a dangerous degree.
The paths have been widened to enable better mobility for people with mobility issues, but with the widening of the footpaths, there’s also been a corresponding narrowing of streets.
In particular at the junction of Drogheda Street and Dublin Street, the concrete footpath has been widened to such a degree that it is virtually impossible for larger vehicles to turn onto Dublin Street without clipping, or indeed driving over a significant section of the paving.
This was highlighted by an articulated lorry during Saturday’s protest.
As our pictures show, despite driving out of Drogheda Street onto the wrong side of Dublin Street, the driver was forced to drive over a significant corner of the newly installed footpath.
And locals are concerned that this makes them particularly unsafe for those it is intended to help.
Locals say that while it is important that members of the Access Group are catered for, this is not the way to go about it.
A meeting took place in recent days in the Parish Centre and a committee was formed to let the Kildare County Council know how locals feel.
A petition was handed into Kildare County Council from locals on Friday and that was followed by the protest on Saturday in the town itself.
And on Saturday, they stopped the traffic through the town to highlight their anger.
“These footpaths are jutting out too far,” one local told the Leinster Leader.
“Drogheda street has four schools on it. What they’ve done is ridiculous.
“You’ll hit them if you don’t know they’re there.”
Local county councillor Suzanne Doyle told the Leinster Leader that while it was important not to rush to any decision on the matter “on the face of it they (the protestors) make a very good point”.
She also bemoaned what she saw as a lack of consultation by the County Council for projects of this nature in Monastervin.
“If this was Newbridge, they’d be showing us maps and things. I do think that needs to be done better,” she added.