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A tale of two towns – Part Two – Killarney bypass

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OUT OF DATE: This proposed 2004 route now needs to be redesigned.

 

In the second part of our special investigation into how major projects in Killarney are lagging behind when compared to other towns in Kerry, this week, Sean Moriarty looks at the never ending story of the new bypass.

It seems Killarney has its lilies and Tralee its lovely roads.

We are paraphrasing the words of a famous local song but it is not music to the ears of Killarney’s motorists.

The outer relief road from Lissivigeen to the Tralee Road was originally scheduled for completion in 2009 but due to the economic collapse the work never commenced. It is now back on the Transport Infrastructure Ireland’s (TII) schedule of works but no definite date has been given for commencement. The last we heard, the plans need to be re-designed.

And so it remains on the long finger.

“The entire process had to start all over again at national level and a new list was formulated. A revised and reduced in length bypass was now included. An almost entire new assessment process had to commence and that is on-going. Our fervent hope is that list will remain intact and that the massive expenditure on COVID-19 related projects won't interfere with the road project,” Cllr Michael Gleeson explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

In the meantime work on the Listowel bypass continues. The 5.9km stretch which links the Tarbert and Ballybunnion roads with the Tralee road is well underway.

The Listowel bypass plan was approved by Government in 2005, a date which does not tally with the proposed Killarney bypass which was given governmental approval in 2004.

OTHER PROJECTS CONTINUE

Other major projects are continuing. The Macroom and Ballyvourney bypass is underway. The badly needed Adare bypass got the go-ahead last year, and while construction is yet to start the arrival of the internationally renowned Ryder Cup golf tournament in 2026 will ensure this project will be completed by that time.

Meanwhile, Killarney, the host town of several major annual events, waits.

“On an overview in 2003/4 a specific route corridor with designs finalised and projected completion dates were made public for the major Farranfore to Lissivigeen relief road which was going to alleviate the volumes of traffic coming into Killarney, what happened? Well the bubble and the banks burst and we here in Killarney were forgotten and left behind again,” Mayor Brendan Cronin told the Killarney Advertiser.

[caption id="attachment_33143" align="alignleft" width="278"] OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Tralee bypass opened in 2013.[/caption]

Last week Kerry County Council approved a plan to collaborate with Limerick County Council to fast track the Abbeyfeale bypass – a direct extension of the Adare project.

“I believe that it was and is very appropriate for KCC to assist Limerick CC in progressing the Abbeyfeale bypass which is of vital importance to Kerry. Cross Border cooperation is essential to many major projects,” Cllr Gleeson added.

Taking this to its extreme, in a few short years, motorists leaving Tralee will be able to travel to the start of Ireland’s motorway network in Limerick (M7 for Dublin and M18 for Galway) on brand new roads that are suitable for today’s volumes of traffic.

Motorists heading to and from the tourist capital of Ireland will have to endure a densely populated and poorly aligned road between Farranfore and Killarney – the scene of at least two fatal accidents this year alone.

FAST-TRACKING

​​​​​​​The fast-tracking of the new bypass is vital and, by default, it will eliminate other traffic blackspots in Killarney that are also on the long-finger.

Congestion between Madam’s Hill and the Cleeney roundabout will be greatly reduced as through-traffic will be diverted away from this stretch of road. The relief road will also go a long way towards reducing traffic on the existing bypass and will help solve issues at the Lewis Road interchange.

The Ballycasheen and Coolcaslagh junctions are two other notorious traffic blackspots - and in the case of the former – an exit from an housing estate leads onto a national primary route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The situation with four critical junctions at Lewis Road, Madams Hill, Ballycasheen Junction and Coolcaslagh junction is that they are all on the N22 national primary route which is under the total control of Transport Infrastructure Ireland who decide design, planning, layout changes and what level of funding will be spent on any of the above dangerous junctions on the N22. This has proved extremely frustrating over the years because as a Council we are, repeatedly, at every meeting seeking improvements and funding for these junctions but the decisions are made in the TII offices in Dublin,” added Cllr Cronin.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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