Poplar Square, Naas. Photo: Tony Keane
The controversial pedestrianisation of Poplar Square is to go ahead.
The project, which comes with a €3m price tag to be paid for by State funding (as distinct from Kildare County Council funds) includes the provison of on -road and off-road cycle lanes along a 2.3 km (1.43 miles) distance between the town and Maudlins roundabout.
The project was approved 6-3 by councillors at a recent Naas Municipal District meeting with Anne Breen, Seamie Moore and Darren Scully dissenting. It’s thought that consruction work could begin early in 2017 aftrer a contractor has been appointed and it will take between 12-18 months to complete.
District Engineer David Reel said the National Transport Authority funded project will improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and the work at Poplar Square will be “in keeping with the character of the area.” Mayor Deborah Callaghan said she recognised the concerns of businesses because of the loss of car parking spaces in Poplar Square, but the porject is supported by the public and “I believe it will regenerate the town.”
Cllr Callaghan said safe cycle paths will benefit many people in Naas and will encourage people to cycle “instead of jumping into the car.”
She said the taxi rank proposed for outside Lawlor’s Hotel should be mixed use” allowing motorists to park at certain times of the day — as loading bays function.
Cllr Carmel Kelly was told that it’s intended to provide at lest eight new car park spaces at Dublin Road, close to Poplar Square as well as signs indicating where the car parks are in Naas .