A section of the large crowd who recently demonstrated on Ardfinnan Bridge
Transport Minister Shane Ross has intervened in the row over Ardfinnan Bridge demanding answers from Tipperary County Council as to why money he allocated for repair works on the structure after it was damaged by flooding has not been spent.
Minister Ross, who personally visited Ardfinnan before allocating €800,000 last July for works to be carried out on the bridge, this week took Tipperary County Council to task for not using the money.
Minister Ross told The Nationalist he had spoken in the last week to County Council officials to express his frustration.
“I went down to Ardfinnan last July to look around and see what was going on and we agreed something should be done. Money was allocated and when we allocate money, and there is a shortage of it in the Department, we would be very anxious to see that something is done and done rapidly. The work should be done and I would hope to see a rapid conclusion and a solution found to this issue” said Minister Ross.
He said he had asked the County Council to explain why the money had not been used and the work carried out.
“I do wish to see a rapid conclusion to this, having allocated money and to see that is has not been used, is very frustrating” said Minister Ross.
No significant work, other than cleaning of vegetation, has been carried out on the bridge since it was damaged by flooding over two years ago after which a controversial one way system over the bridge and traffic lights was introduced by the Council.
There is widespread anger in the community at the lack of progress. Opposition to the one way system and traffic lights is mounting as fears intensify over the safety of the one way system and lights and in particular the dangers that it creates outside a busy primary school in the village every day.
The public, fearful that the council want the one way system and lights to become a permanent feature, are demanding an end to the one way system and traffic lights.
They have appealed to the County Council to consider a stand alone or cantilever type bridge for pedestrians.
The request was discussed with the National Monuments recently and the June meeting of Clonmel Borough Council was told that there would be a report finalised on the proposals in a number of weeks.