KILKENNY CENTRAL ACCESS SCHEME [THE LOCAL AREA INCLUDING ROADS, VIEWS AND NEW BRIDGE]
Kilkenny Central Access Scheme (CAS), previously Kilkenny Inner Relief Road Scheme is a controversial new road, improvement of existing roads and junctions, and a new concrete River Nore bridge, with provisions for footpaths and cycle lanes throughout. CAS comprises 4.5 kilometers of single carriageway road that is 7.3 metres wide. The scheme is proving to be controversial as the route of the completed road will bring heavy traffic through residential areas, also the route will bring heavy traffic through the centre of medieval Irishtown section of the city.
The Inner Relief Road was first proposed in 1978 as a means of providing access to brewery traffic to the brewery itself, which has now closed. Kilkenny city is currently surrounded by two thirds of a ring-road and the completion of this ring-road is seen by some as a greater priority for alleviating Kilkenny’s traffic problems as they stand. Kilkenny County Council remains resolved that progress in the CAS project should continue ahead of completion to the outer ring road.
Residents and and those who work in the locality have repeatedly expressed frustration with the ongoing works, traffic problems, and the level of communication with them.
As is always the case in Ireland people object to new infrastructure when it is too late to do so. During my visit to Kilkenny anyone that I spoke to had nothing good to say about the new bridge or the supporting infrastructure but not one person could actually explain why they had issues except to say that they felt that the bridge should have been located elsewhere.
I had hoped that the bridge would have been opened at the time of my visit but this was not the case. During my visit I discovered that there is no exact date yet confirmed for the official opening of the Central Access Scheme, although the council says it is likely to be early May.
The name of the new bridge has yet to be decided, but council’s naming and memorial committee is due to meet in the coming days. The issue is likely to be on the agenda at the next monthly meeting of Kilkenny County Council.
Meanwhile, a number of local roads around the Central Access Scheme will be temporarily closed in the coming days, for final works as the project nears completion.