Calls For The Transport Minister To Include Thurles ByPass Project Int The National Development Plan

145

Independent Senator Sharon Keoghan today raised the need for the Minister for Transport to include the Thurles ByPass project into the National Development Plan(NDP) which is to run until 2030.  The government is to review the NDP in 2025. Only projects included in the NDP are funded by the Government.  A route for a ByPass on the eastern side of the town was provisionally selected in 2011 however it has not been included in the 2014 or 2021 NDPs.

The Seanad was informed that Minister of State in the Department of Transport Jack Chambers is to meet with councillors in Thurles tomorrow about the project.

A bid to develop a community wide campaign to have the ByPass included in the NDP was recently initiated by Dan Harty, a Sinn Fein candidate in the upcoming Local Elections.  Independent Cllr Jim Ryan informed Mr Harty that the Save our Square campaign group set up in 2019 to secure the retention of the Post office in Liberty Square Thurles has been working on the ByPass issue.

Traffic in Thurles town centre is severely congested as the N75 and N62 intersect in the town centre and  there is only one vehicular bridge in the town. There have been 4 pedestrian fatalities in the last 20 years in the town centre involving HGV vehicles.  

Plans to deliver the Thurles Inner Relief Road on the south of the town area also stalled as the Council is yet to secure the necessary land to build the road which includes a bridge over the river Suir for vehicular traffic. The Council obtained planning permission for the road in 2014.  Data modelling shows that the ByPass would reduce town centre traffic by 50% while the Inner Relief Road will reduce town centre traffic by 15%. The Seanad also heard that the 2024 funding allocations under the Strategic Roads Grant Fund relating to the Thurles Inner Relief Project are to be announced in the coming weeks.