Kildare County Council questioned over Drehid haul route repairs

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

Kildare County Council questioned over Drehid haul route repairs

Kildare County Council engineers are planning to examine all major sub-standard junctions, on a countywide basis, and make a submission to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) for money to improve them, a District committee has been told.

Cllr Daragh Fitzpatrick asked about upgrade plans in the Clane-Maynooth District (MD) after the recent refusal of An Bord Pleanála to grant an extension to the Drehid Landfill facility.

Specifically, he wanted to know about plans to upgrade or put traffic calming measures on the haul routes to the facility within the MD.

Speaking at last month’s Clane-Maynooth Municipal District (MD) meeting Cllr Fitzpatrick said there was a lot of local concern over junctions.

In the reply, the members were told that the funding will depend on a number of factors — on traffic accident figures for these junctions and benefit to cost ratios.

The MD engineer has identified a number of these locations within the Clane-Maynooth Municipal District.

The committee was told: “Traffic calming measures going forward are to be assessed in accordance with Kildare County Council’s technical documents. The Municipal District office may carry out speed surveys at any locations where reports of speeding are identified and bring it to the attention of the Traffic Section for further examination.

“In relation to junction improvements, the upgrade of the junctions along the haul route would most likely require land purchase. A specific funding source and staffing resources would also need to be identified to design and deliver these improvements. Given the substantial funding required, it is unlikely that any of the locations would comply with the terms of the Low Cost Accident Scheme.”

The report concluded: “It is planned to examine all major sub-standard junctions, on a countywide basis, and make a submission to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) for specific funding having regard to the history of accidents at the junctions, benefit to cost ratio etc.

The Municipal District Engineer has identified a number of these locations within the Clane-Maynooth Municipal District.

Cllr Padraig McEvoy said they need to know what junctions would be a priority. He also said the public were aware of accident issues but the data on them had not caught up. Cllr Aidan Farrelly said he had got accident figures from gardai.

Cllr Brendan Wyse said it was not ideal for the council to have assumed that the planning permission for the Drehid landfill expansion would be approved, and that funding for improving road safety on the haulage routes would have been made available as a result.

“An alternative source of funding must be found now as the safety issues remain,” he said.

Cllr Wyse said there are ongoing concerns about safety at Killina National School, close to the landfill entrance, where the council has undertaken a study and consultation to see how safety can be improved.

“The junction with the Skew (Shee) Bridge in Allenwood South was also assessed previously and an upgrade was deemed necessary, as was the crossroads in Allenwood Village, where the installation of new traffic lights was recommended. The crossroads at Dag Welds, Downings, Firmount and Millicent are also accident hotspots where additional funding is now needed to improve safety,” he said.

The meeting heard that Dag Welds, Downings in Prosperous, Millicent and Firmount would be looked at but that it could be between €500,000 and €1 million to do these.

Officials say there are land ownership issues involved.