New road would sever ‘Medieval Mile’
Sir, – The proposed creation of a new road through the historic heart of Kilkenny city will bring increased traffic through the area and will sever the “Medieval Mile” which links Kilkenny Castle with St Canice’s Cathedral.
The Central Access Scheme (CAS) has been opposed since 2007 by Kilkenny Archaeological Association and An Taisce. Both organisations made submissions to the oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála in 2008, as also did the Heritage Council and other professional and heritage bodies. Opposition is based not only on heritage and cultural grounds but also on national and international policies on traffic management in historic cities, the reduction of fuel use, and financial cost. The proposal runs contrary to the “smarter travel” policies that the local authorities have embraced, which should be used to deal with all the current traffic problems in the first instance.
Kilkenny County and Borough Councils have an admirable conservation record in regard to many sensitive and enlightened developments such as Rothe House, St Mary’s Church and graveyard, the city walls, linear riverside parks and many more. The completion of the ring road on the north side of the city would be the greatest single contribution that they could make to traffic relief in the city. The existing section of the ring road, which has been in use for some years has been hugely beneficial to Kilkenny and it is difficult to envisage how we could ever have done without it.
The recent campaign to give priority to the completion of the ring road is supported by residents’ associations in areas affected by heavy traffic, by users of HGVs, and by a large number of citizens as evidenced by more than 3,700 signatures on the community-led petition presented to the councils within the last two weeks.
It is not too late to reconsider the priorities on this issue. – Yours, etc,
Archaeological Society &
Dr DECLAN MURPHY,