Municipal District: 16 April 2021

Motion: That the council explain how the processes for developing the two Celbridge bridges projects and the future traffic strategy consultation will be linked and aligned, and what the specific purpose of public feedback points for each project will be in terms of the overall goal of significantly improved and sustainable transport for the area in a way that enhances the town centre, heritage and community.

Report: The Celbridge Hazelhatch Link Road project (Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF)) will improve connectivity to Hazelhatch Train Station, reduce traffic congestion in the town centre and improve pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure and connectivity along its route. This project is currently at route selection stage, having recently completed a public consultation process. The information from the submissions received during this public consultation process will feed into the multi-criteria analysis of the route options and assist in determining an emerging preferred route. This project will have regard to the proposed Celbridge pedestrian and cyclist bridge project.

The proposed Celbridge pedestrian and cyclist bridge project (National Transport Authority (NTA) funded) proximate to the existing bridge in Celbridge is primarily for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists (Vulnerable Road Users (VRU’s)) and their movement across the River Liffey in the centre of Celbridge. This is at preliminary design stage at present. This project will have regard to the proposed Celbridge Hazelhatch Link Road Project.

The development of transport strategies countywide is aligned to the Planning Department’s programme for developing Local Area Plans (LAP’s) and the future development of the Celbridge Transport Strategy will have regard for both schemes and will benefit from the traffic model developed and data collected during the development of these schemes. The purpose of the public consultation process in general is to advise the public of the proposed scheme(s) and to invite submissions. These submissions are collated in terms of the information provided and will assist in developing the project through the design and planning stages.

Discussion: Councillor Liston welcomed the report and queried: how Kildare County Council were factoring in community engagement in the 3 major interlinked projects. What was the purpose, value and scope of change that the community could expect.

She noted that traffic congestion was a big issue and all the information gathered for the three projects should be joined up and each section should be cross referenced and the community should be able to see this. This should be used as an opportunity to get feedback as es each phase developed, issues being raised should be monitored and a roadmap should be drawn up with deliverables for the community.

The District Manager advised that the Celbridge Hazelhatch link Road consultation process was about collecting information. She welcomed the information from the community in relation to ecological, flood, historical information. This would be analysed and added as appropriate.

All contributions in relation to statutory / planning process would be considered as they come in. Each project would also be reviewed in tandem with each other but that guidelines from Central Government around COVID-19 must also be considered as the process progresses. She advised the Muncipal District Engineer was heavily involved and engaged in the consultation process and they were taking on board all information coming out of this.

Ms Barrett undertook to revert to the team and discuss the importance of community engagement at each phase of the process and update the members.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Liston, seconded by Councillor Neville that the report be noted and the District Manager revert to the team and discuss the importance of community engagement at each phase of the process and update the members.