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Progress on Lewis Road and bypass road projects

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By Sean Moriarty

Plans to overhaul the layout of the Killarney bypass can move forward to the next phase following a High Court decision this week.

The much-needed project, which includes the realignment of Lewis Road and the construction of a new roundabout to take traffic from the Kilcummin side, was delayed as a result of a judicial review.

Details of the legal case were not made public but the Killarney Advertiser understands it related to the purchase of lands required to construct the new roundabout.

On Tuesday, Kerry County Council revealed that the legal proceedings were dismissed by the High Court allowing the Council to proceed with the next phase of the scheme.

The Killarney bypass and its intersection with Lewis Road has been high on the Council’s priority list for years.

It has been the scene of several fatal accidents and it is considered a traffic blackspot in the town.
Over 18,000 vehicles a day use the road.

Now that the plans can go ahead it is expected that the project will include a new roundabout between the entrance to the fire station and existing roundabout at the Killarney Sports and Leisure Complex/Woodlands Industrial Estate entrance.

This new roundabout will take traffic travelling to and from the Kilcummin area away from the dangerous Lewis Rd/Kilcummin Road junction.

It will also be used to prevent traffic turning right onto Lewis Road; instead traffic will continue to the new roundabout and double-back to Lewis Road.

“I welcome the news that the proposals for the Lewis Road junction to improve safety can now proceed to the next phase of this scheme. This is a positive step in addressing road safety issues at this dangerous junction,” Mayor of Killarney Brendan Cronin said.

Several councillors including Niall Kelleher have been campaigning for years to get these works approved. In 2018 he led a petition - which was signed by over 5,000 people - following a fatal accident in the area.

He also led a deputation to Dáil Éireann where concerned residents met with the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) officials.

“This put the issue high on their agendas and we got funding and design approval after that,” Mr Kelleher told the Killarney Advertiser. “It was hoped that construction would have started last year but the judicial review is due process and people are entitled to this.”

While the news that the bypass project can move to the next phase is very welcome, an issue remains on how to get pedestrians to and from the Lewis Road side to the Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic playing fields off the Kilcummin Road. A previous proposal to build an underpass was rejected by residents of Bridgefield Estate.

“People attending matches at Legion or Celtic are entitled to cross the bypass without actually walking on the road itself,” added Mr Kelleher. “There are a number of options being considered here.”

It is understood that Kerry County Council are examining several options, including alternative locations for an underpass and the potential construction of an overbridge.

THE NEXT PHASE

The news that works can finally go ahead on the bypass road are welcome but this is only the start of it.

The next phase will include the construction of a new road, linking Park Road with the bypass. It is anticipated that this new road would start on Lower Park Road, near McDonald's Restaurant and exit on the existing bypass somewhere near the fire station.
This plan, currently under consideration by Kerry County Council, would take traffic from Daly’s Roundabout and the Lewis Road junction. It would also allow a new access to the Deerpark Shopping Centre, reducing traffic on Upper Park Road.

“This will make both Daly’s and the Cleeney Roundabout safer and will take pressure off the Lewis Road,” Cllr Niall Kelleher told the Killarney Advertiser. “The whole motive [behind the bypass works] is to take pressure off Lewis Road.”

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.

At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.

NEXT STEP

Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
_______________________________________________________________________

During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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