Best of 2017: Frustration over Newbridge traffic management and design plans delays

NTA were to take in charge

Niamh O'Donoghue

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue

Email:

niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Best of 2017: Frustration over Newbridge traffic management and design plans delays

File Photo: Newbrigde town

One issue which remained on the agenda and frustrated local councillors throughout the year was the development of traffic management and town design statements for Newbridge and Kildare.

It emerged last month that the National Transport Authority (NTA) was to take charge of the delivery of the long-awaited Newbridge Traffic Management plan.

At November 15's Kildare Newbridge Municipal District meeting, the council said the Director of Services for Transportation had met with Hugh Creegan from the NTA to outline the frustration being experienced by officials and elected members in Kildare County Council in regard to a number of projects being delayed, including the proposed traffic management plan for Newbridge.

“Mr Creegan outlined his difficulties with funding, in addition to the fact that recent experiences with Traffic Management Plans (TMPs) funded in other counties had not delivered the type of blueprint that provided value for money or tangible outcomes,” said the council.

“Therefore Mr Creegan offered, as an alternative, that he would assign one of the NTA’s Strategic Planning staff to develop a Transport Plan for Newbridge.”

Councillors were informed the initial desktop analysis and information gathering had commenced, and on November 30 the NTA staff member and the head of the NTA Strategic Planning Section would meet with the Director of Services and the Senior Engineer in Roads to outline and agree a series of workshops and workplan that ultimately will produce a Transport Plan for Newbridge. The local authority also stressed that a review of the data from the existing Kildare town TMP has not been carried out, and therefore the Roads Department was not in a position to provide a report at that time.

Cllr Fiona McLoughlin Healy said she was concerned regarding the intervention by the NTA. She questioned why after three years of KCC submitting applications to the NTA for a Traffic Management Plan for Newbridge and Kildare Town, the NTA decided to take the application out of the council’s hands.