10 Aug 2022

Locals objecting to footpath works in Offaly village

Locals objecting to  footpath works in Offaly village

Locals objecting to footpath works in Offaly village

A number of locals have been objecting to footpath works in Offaly, which commenced in recent weeks, saying it will “be narrowing the village”.

The works are being undertaken in Kinnitty as part of a town and village renewal scheme comprising of the provision of footpaths, public lighting and the undergrounding of overhead cables. The works will continue in the New Year but all areas will be left safe for the Christmas period and it is expected the works will be completed by March.

However, the Tribune was contacted recently by a resident, who voiced serious concerns regarding the work in the village, saying the work was going to “turn the village into a giant footpath” and that the works will take from the natural beauty of the village, “narrowing it” when the works were completed.

Speaking to the paper, the resident outlined how when the plans for the village were drawn up, they went on display and the Council spoke to a “few people”, they claimed at the time, and that there were objections, at the time, to the work being carried out in the village.

“The majority of people don't want this on the basis that it's going to take away parking from the whole village and it is going to turn the village into a footpath, which is basically what they are doing now”.

The resident said they contacted the Council when the works began recently again. “Now, we are being told the works are being carried out on health and safety grounds. This is a cop out. I have been told that some traffic is coming through the village at speed and they want to narrow the roads for this reason. That is their logic behind it but I have doubts about this,” he said.

When asked what their issues were with the works, the resident said that the biggest issue they had was with the parking facilities.

“Originally, they were putting down trees between the car parking spaces. We have a lot of older people driving around the village. They aren't going to be able to manage these spaces. They are limiting the village.”

They also mentioned the bike trails and the parking in the village.

The resident said they counted up to fifty cars one “quiet” Friday evening in the village, before telling the paper that the Council want to “cut down the amount of parking” in the village.

“We don't need that. It is really going to take from the village. Kinnitty is an old village and they want to put all this new stuff in it. It is really going to take from it” he pointed out.

According to the residents, the works aren't going to add anything to Kinnitty. They maintain that many people are against the works but they are being forced onto the village. They add that there are other areas of the village where the footpaths need to be done.

One of the residents told the Tribune: “It is just forcing on us what they want and this is not a village plan that Kinnitty wants. It's going to curtail the movement of people in the place”. Finishing up, the resident agreed that the village would have wider footpaths after the work was done. However, it will mean that the village will be narrowed. “I don't know why or what for? The roads need to be done here and different improvements need to be done and they are not doing that.”.

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