Tipperary community vows to fight council to 'bitter end' to stop bridge plan

Tipperary community vows to fight council to 'bitter end' to stop bridge plan

Traffic lights signal the controversial one-way system at Ardfinnan bridge.

A defiant Ardfinnan community has vowed to “fight to the bitter end” to prevent Tipperary County Council from implementing a hated one way traffic system over the bridge in the village as a permanent fixture.

Community organisations are lining up to take on Tipperary County Council through Bord Pleanala which  this week received an application for approval of the one way system from Tipperary County  Council.

The public have between December 4th and February  9th to lodge submissions to Bord Pleanala as the battle between the County Council and the Ardfinnan community intensifies.

“There will be an avalanche of opposition lodged with Bord Pleanala. Nobody has listened to the community  and people are prepared to go to the High Court if they have to on this” , warned  Independent TD Mattie McGrath.

The controversial  one way system  with traffic lights either side of the bridge  is in place for almost two and a half years since Ardfinnan bridge was damaged by flooding.

Appeals by the community for a  new stand alone pedestrian bridge  and a return to two way traffic on the existing vehicular bridge  have been dismissed by Tipperary County Council.

 Mairead Condon, Principal of Ardfinnan national school, has already warned that the traffic lights/one way  system endangers pupils every day;  management at a thriving business located at the bridge said the future of the operation  was uncertain because of the one way system;  and the public are furious at the massive disruption to  village life caused by the one way system.

Public  meetings, protest marches  and meetings with Transport Minister Shane Ross have failed to resolve the matter. 

Ardfinnan Community Council, community organisations and  the public are now  preparing to take on  the  County Council through Bord Pleanala.

“The people  of Ardfinnan will not give up on this, this is a fight to the bitter end.Every organisation in the community will challenge this all the way” insisted Aidan McNamara of Ardfinnan Community Council.

Deputy  McGrath said the community was  outraged by what they saw as a failure of the County Council to listen to their safety concerns.

“The council has not consulted the local community.  It’s the council way or the highway and to hell with the people of Ardfinnan” said Deputy McGrath.

The County Council has applied to Bord Pleanala to carry out remedial work on Ardfinnan Bridge, to provide a pedestrian pathway delineated by line marking, coloured surfacing and flexible posts, and for a traffic signal system with one way traffic flow.