Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting gave Castleisland and the general area more than a cursory going over.
Several councillors had motions down and questions to be answered on issues of concern and interest to the locality. One of the most significant is the question on the proposed ‘Tullig Walkway’ which would see the pathway in Tullig continued back along the Black Road to join the public footpath at the community college and continue into town.
You will see below that both Cllr. Michael Gleeson and Cllr. Bobby O’Connell had specific questions answered on the proposal.
The upshot of the proposal is that with all the services and work needed to complete the circuit it would cost €1,400,000 – that’s one million, four hundred thousand Euro.
Footbridge Sketched by Mike Kenny in 1991
The proposal to build a footbridge over the untroubled waters of the River Maine close to Scoil Muire Gan Smal at the bottom of Creamery Lane / Convent Street also got an airing with answers to both councillors, Gleeson and O’Connell.
The first time I heard of a bridge across the river at this point was back in 1991 at a time when the river walk was at its development stage.
The late Mike Kenny actually drew up some sketches of how the walk would look and the footbridge, as a plan, was discussed with Pat Mitchell of the Castleisland Development Association at that time.
There was a proposal later on, and since Mr. Kenny’s untimely passing, that the bridge would bear his name.
Keep Chamber in the Loop on Dereliction
Cllr. Bobby O’Connell requested that Castleisland Chamber Alliance would be consulted about Kerry County Council plans to tackle and eradicate derelict sites from the town and to bring it up to date on the survey which has been carried out here.
Currow Group Water Scheme
Cllr. Maura Healy Rae also got a comprehensive and conclusive answer to her questions on the problems surrounding the Currow Group Water Scheme.
Roundabout for Main Street
Cllr. Michael Gleeson also asked if Kerry County Council considered that the provision of a roundabout at the confluence of a number of roadways at the northern end of Castleisland town would ensure more effective and safer traffic flow?
He was told that large roundabouts are generally not appropriate in urban areas. You can read the full reply below.
From the Economic and Community Development Directorate
Cllr. M. Gleeson: That the Council would indicate if there has been any progress towards the upgrading and further development of the very desirable Tullig Walkway in Castleisland.
Reply: A cost estimate of the development of the Tullig Walkway in Castleisland has been prepared. Footpath and lighting for a distance of 2.2 km to required standards, this would require the following: land acquisition, accommodation works, fencing, hedging, drainage, under grounding of
services, public lighting, footpath construction, 2No. Pedestrian footbridges, traffic management, signage and road markings.
The total estimated cost of this proposed project would be in the region of €1,400,000.
It is proposed the Council would work with the community to progress community proposals in relation to this desirable project.
3. Cllr. B. O’Connell: That Kerry County Council, in co-operation with Castleisland Chamber Alliance, identify the derelict sites in the town and try and eradicate these blights from our town and make Castleisland the catalyst for other towns.
Reply: As part of the preparatory process for the Draft Killarney MD Local Area Plan, a survey has been carried out of Castleisland Town which will have identified relevant derelict properties in the town.
As part of the revision of the Development Contribution Scheme, Kerry County Council can designate specific areas in towns for urban regeneration where lower development contributions can apply if these areas meet specific criteria.
We will also arrange to have our Derelict Sites Officer for the area contact Castleisland Chamber Alliance as requested.
3. Cllr. M. Healy-Rae: To ask Kerry County Council what is going to be done with the Currow Group Water Scheme as it is unfair that people are being left without water for three or four days at a time?
Reply: The administration and development of the Group Scheme sector continues to be a function of the Local Authorities under the guidance and supervision of the Department Of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. Irish Water has no authority, responsibility or involvement.
The 30 years old Currow Hill Group Water Scheme, on which there are circa 100 connections and which is served by Kilsarkan reservoir on the Central Regional WSS, is not in charge of the Council / Irish Water. Such a Group Scheme is operated and maintained under the stewardship of its local committee, which typically uses a local contractor to effect repairs etc, and this expenditure is in turn recouped under the subsidy scheme.
While support and advice is provided to Group Schemes through the Council’s Rural Water Office in the form of advice and subsidy payments, KCC has no role on the ground in the maintenance and upkeep of Group Schemes.
The Council has been in recent discussion with the Group with a view to reactivating its management structure and link with the Council. Some minor capital works have also been carried out on the Scheme.
From the Operations, Safety & Infrastructure Directorate
8. Cllr. M. Gleeson: That the Council would seriously and positively examine the possibility of erecting a footbridge across the river from a location proximate to the Convent School in Castleisland. Such a bridge would greatly help to alleviate the traffic chaos that is at present a constant feature.
Reply: As per the planning permission granted by Kerry County Council the school is to construct a new car park and to carry out revisions to the internal roads layout in order to mitigate traffic congestion. These works will have to be completed and operated for a period of time prior to Kerry County Council examining the feasibility of this proposal.
10. Cllr. B. O’Connell: Can Kerry County Council give an estimate of the cost of providing a footpath and lighting around the Black Road and Tullig into Castleisland Town.
Reply: In order for Kerry County Council to provide a footpath and lighting for a distance of 2.2 km to required standards, this would require the following: land acquisition, accommodation works, fencing, hedging, drainage, under grounding of services, public lighting, footpath construction, 2No. Pedestrian footbridges, traffic management, signage and road markings.
The total estimated cost of this proposed project would be in the region of €1,400,000.
13. Cllr. B. O’Connell: That Kerry County Council install a footbridge over the River Maine to facilitate Scoil Mhuire gan Smál and the new Autistic Unit and the Day Care Centre as this will also alleviate traffic congestion on this extremely busy area.
Reply: As per the planning permission granted by Kerry County Council the school is to construct a new car park and to carry out revisions to the internal roads layout in order to mitigate traffic congestion. These works will have to be completed and operated for a period of time prior to kerry County Council examining the feasibility of this proposal.
25. Cllr. J.J. Culloty: As the ducting and cabling for wind turbines on the Mountfalvey road in Scartaglin is complete, I call on this Council to ensure that this section of road is re-surfaced to the same standard as the other Agenda Killarney MD Meeting 14 26th July 2017 neighbouring section of roads, which were similarly affected by the trench excavations and heavy traffic.
Reply: The road openings on the L-7062 Mount Falvey Road will be reinstated by the contractor in the coming weeks and dependent on road and weather conditions, this section of the road will be resurfaced by Kerry County Council.
29. Cllr. B. Cronin: When will the following damaged bridge parapets be repaired, adjacent to Rathcomane Cross, adjacent to Finnegan’s Cross, east of Kerry Airport on N23.
Reply: The parapet at O’Connell’s Bridge (near Kerry Airport) will be repaired as part of the TII Kerry Cork Clare Rehabilitation Contract A. It is expected to have these works completed October 2017. In regards to Rathcomane Cross, and Finnegan’s Cross Kerry County Council Operations are in the process of appointing contractors. It is expected that these works will be completed by
end September 2017.
5. Cllr. M. Gleeson: Does the Council believe that the provision of a roundabout at the confluence of a number of roadways at the northern end of Castleisland town would ensure more effective and safer traffic flow?
Reply: The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets is the current policy document for the design of roads and streets in towns and villages. This policy document prioritises vulnerable users within the town centre roads.
In regard to roundabouts the document outlines as follows:‘Large roundabouts are generally not appropriate in urban areas. They require a greater land take and are difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate’.
In fact the document recommends that if possible roundabouts should be replaced with signalised junctions where possible; ‘Where large roundabouts currently exist, road authorities are encouraged, as part of any major upgrade works, to replace them with signalised junctions or retrofit them so that are more compact and/or pedestrian and cycle friendly’
Therefore Kerry County Council considers that in line with current national policy the provision of a roundabout at this location is not appropriate.
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