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Thurles By-Pass Why Are We Waiting

Last Friday afternoon traffic was at a total stand still, stretched between the Drish Bridge on the Dublin road to the pedestrian traffic lights on Liberty Square here in Thurles town centre. In the traffic chaos waiting patiently, apart from the ordinary domestic vehicles, was a large truck with Kelly’s of Fantane markings attempting to deliver tarmac, eight building workers in a minibus obviously moving to a new site, a cattle truck, a coca cola delivery van, a guinness maintenance van, a circus poster van, a car transporter, and a Thurles Milk delivery van, just to name a few attempting to go about their daily work.

(Thank God there was no Ambulance on a mercy mission to Limerick Hospital or a Fire Brigade attempting to get to a fire, held up in this traffic chaos or we would have a few more traffic lights pointing in the opposite direction – See state of Cathedral Street & Parnell Street paedestrian lights – big compensation claims waiting to happen here folks – couldn’t see the red light, Your Honour.)

I timed their progress. It took exactly 55 minutes to travel from Drish Bridge to the Castle, entering Liberty Square, overlooking the River Suir. The workers in the various commercial vehicles named, had, through no fault of their own, cost their employers a minimum of €300 in just unproductive wages alone, in their effort to get to their next place of employment.

Two years ago, on October 1st 2009, Thurles people were strongly urged to engage with the ‘Consultation Process,’ for the planned routes selection for the Thurles By-Pass, which were on display to the public in the Anner Hotel from 2pm-8pm. Today June 18th, the overburdened tax paying residents and businesses of Thurles are no nearer to their much needed Bypass than they were in 2009.

To compare, on November 31st 2010, the latest proposals for the building of an ambitious €460m Co Tipperary complex to construct Europe’s largest sporting, leisure and gaming centre at Two Mile Borris, Thurles, Co Tipperary, went on show to the public. Despite planning appeals and oral hearings, in just 6 months that independent body known as An Bord Pleanála, going against the advice of it’s own planning inspectorate, recently gave the go-ahead for a Casino, an eight storey 500 bedroom hotel and an indoor racetrack complex and golf facility at Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles, here in Co Tipperary.

Link Road Proposals

Thurles residents learn from their local newspaper, the Tipperary Star, two weeks ago, that now almost two years later that: “The preferred route for the proposed multi-million Euro Thurles By-Pass will be announced in the coming days, thereby freeing up hundreds of acres of land which has been effectively sterilised due to the planning process. There has been a lot of pressure on the National Roads Authority’s Design Office to get the latest phase of the project through as it is holding up development in the immediate proximity to the indicative line which has been drawn on the map. Indeed, there have been fears expressed that the proposed relocation of An Post to the Turtulla area, and the development of the Tesco store could well fall by the wayside as a result of the considerable delays in making a decision.

This By-Pass is seen as the solution which will ultimately sort out Thurles’ massive traffic congestion problems and taking much of the present traffic chaos out of the town centre. As a result of the Thurles streets layout, a high percentage of the traffic travelling through Liberty Square does so, out of pure necessity and with the by-pass in place, this would solve the town’s major traffic chaos.

According to the newspaper, Senior Tipperary Executive Roads Engineer Mr Michael Hayes, informed members that a draft report has gone to the NRA in order for it to be signed off on. “They are now going through that report and I expect that to be back with us very shortly. We will receive a plan with a line showing which is the preferred route. The next phase then would be the committing of funds for the project and the Compulsory Purchase Order of land.” Mr Hayes stated.

Thurles Area Engineer Mr Ruairi Boland informed Thurles area council members that a contractor has been appointed for the construction of the bridge over the main Dublin – Cork rail line as part of the Thurles link road, which will connect the Templemore road with the Nenagh road. Much of the new road footprint has already been undertaken by the council, he said, and they are continuing to work on the embankments so that there will be no hold-up’s once the bridge is in place.

It is still hoped that the link road will be in use before the end of the year. (Likely Story) Users will get onto the road through the Cluain Glas entrance on the Templemore road, and will come out opposite the Tipperary Institute where a new road layout will be incorporated.

Thank God, Mr Richard Quirke had the good sense to include a heliport or two in his plans for his ‘Field of Dreams,’ and also to court the assistance of front man, Mr Michael Lowry TD, to assist in his ambitious quest. Perhaps Thurles residents should now also obtain the services of Mr Lowry to get a By-Pass and the necessary funding quickly pushed through, – oh sorry, forgot, sure we have already Mr Lowry as our public representative.

All Public Representative please note, the business people, motorists and residents of Thurles are slowly loosing their patience and their livelihoods.

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3 comments to Thurles By-Pass Why Are We Waiting

  • Ann

    Thurles needs more than a By-Pass!
    While waiting to be served in the Euro2 retail store in your Thurles Shopping Centre this morning, I was horrified to see a young woman standing in front of me, being treated like an senseless idiot, by a member of this shops staff. This ‘Staff Member’, who obviously has had no training in customer relations, became irate in front of a busy shop because this customer wanted to return goods that she obviously had purchased earlier. On requesting a credit note in lieu of goods, the nazi attitude of the shops manageress or staff member in dealing with this simple normal request left me with feelings of total revulsion. As a result of my witnessing the humiliation and sheer ignorance displayed by this staff member, toward a fellow shopper, I hastily make the short trip to one of the other discount stores in the town. This is one shop I personally will not be entering again.

  • Chris

    I saw the cause of this chaos. I was standing outside the Chemist just near the bridge/castle. A 2002 Ford Focus parked on the yellow lines outside Chinese restaurant. Amazingly the traffic warden was walking by. The woman said to him I will be 2 minutes he just signalled ok like he knew her possibly or cba to tell her to move, and walked on towards the source. She was at least 15 minutes. Caused the whole town to block up as cars had to stop to let others cars pass out vice versa to avoid ramming the focus. Not only do we need a bypass but a new bridge that’s wider and Parnell street residents should be allowed park in the car park or make it a one way street and have outgoing traffic come out pass old library.

  • Cris, have you ever been driving behind a cyclist past the Cathedral and on to Mitchel Street or Kickham Street. Speed is decided by the age and physical fitness of the cyclist. Then there is the problem of the unfortunate elderly ill people attempting to visit their doctor opposite Topaz. They are forced to block traffic just because of their infirmity and a dirty great unnecessary footpath sticking out. Who designed this traffic calming system anyway?

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