Fiddown is centred around three roads (i) the old N24 which leads to the north to Piltown and the N24 Limerick – Waterford national route, and to the south across the River Suir into County Waterford, (ii) the Rathmore Road which now passes underneath the by-pass, and (iii) Strand Road leading to the amenity area by the river. Bordering the village to its north and east is the N24 national road from Waterford to Limerick which now by-passes the village.
The Final Stage 3 Audit was undertaken by TMS Consultants in relation to the by-pass and the recommendations of this audit were implemented. A Road Safety Audit involves the evaluation of road schemes during design and construction to identify potential hazards that may affect any type of road user, and the appropriate measures to eliminate or mitigate any such hazards.
The ‘2+1 System’ was introduced in 2006 and a Stage 3 Road Safety Audit was undertaken following the completion of the scheme, the recommendations of the audit were implemented.
Since the introduction of the 2+1 System the feedback from An Garda Siochana has been extremely positive. A proposal has been approved by the NRA for works to be carried out, on a trial basis over a number of weeks, at the Piltown Tower Road exit to gradually reduce the width of the hard shoulder on approach from Carrick-on-Suir, having regard to the number of incidents occurring, and to improve traffic safety at this location.
T2 – To work with the NRA in the provision of a safe transport route along the N24 national route.
Issues of concern raised in relation to the by-pass related to inadequate lighting, the height of the Rathmore Road under-pass, the length of the slip-way, crash barriers and signage at the beehive. An appraisal of the by-pass by the Roads Section shows that the length is of the slip-way is in accordance with the NRA Road Geometry Handbook; the under-pass was designed to facilitate car use only for local access to the village and its hinterland – emergency vehicles are required to use the grade separated junction a short distance to the west of the Rathmore Road.
Regarding suggestions to provide additional lighting, it has been found that there are negative safety implications with lighting isolated junctions along national routes for road users travelling along the mainline.
An inspection of the signage near the beehive indicates that sightlines are sufficient, but that repairs will be required in relation to the crash barrier.
T1 – To carry out works to repair the crash barrier at the by-pass near the beehive.
2.3.2 Traffic Management & Calming
Traffic volumes through Fiddown village have reduced since the opening of the N24 Piltown-Fiddown by-pass and the reclassification of the main road (old N24) to non-national road status. Traffic figures nationally have also reduced due to the economic down-turn and this is particularly the case of construction related bulk cargo vehicles.
However there are still a large number of vehicles travelling through the village, which appears, from local knowledge, to have increased with the opening of the new bridge in Waterford as vehicles may be using the village as an alternative route to avoid toll fees on the bridge.
A 24 hour survey was carried out to determine levels of speeding through the village, and found that average speeds were slightly above the speed limit, but that there was a high level of traffic travelling through the village. An assessment is required to ascertain the most appropriate traffic management system to secure the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers through the village, and the feasibility of installing traffic calming measures.
T3 – To carry out an assessment and implement a traffic management system to secure the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers through the village, having regard to the need criteria and financing.
A build-out has been constructed at the Toll Bridge House to prevent damage to the house. Concern has been raised about the ability of heavy goods vehicles to manoeuvre around the build-out and that it brings vehicles closer to the wall at the chapel which is under stress. The Council will endeavour to carry out a swept path analysis at the junction of the bridge with the former N24 road, when resources allow.
The wall at the chapel, which is a protected structure and recorded monument, is suffering damage due to a number of factors; an examination of the options to carry out works to prevent further works should be undertaken.
- T4 – To work with the property of owners of the chapel to identify works to be carried out to prevent deterioration of the wall to the front of the chapel, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
- T5 – To carry out a heavy goods vehicles swept path analysis at the junction of the bridge with the former N24 road, when resources allow.
2.3.3 Footpaths and Lighting
Footpaths have been constructed and improved in some areas of the village; mainly in the vicinity of recent residential developments. However there are several areas in which footpath provision remains deficient, including in the vicinity of the Toll Bridge Tavern, Strand Road and towards the bridge and the cemetery, which makes pedestrian movement around these parts of the village difficult. Speed bumps have been installed along the Strand Road.
T6 – To provide and improve footpath connections within the village of Fiddown.
Considering the inter-dependency between Fiddown and Piltown, it is appropriate that a pedestrian and cycle linkage should be provided to link the two settlements; although this may not be realised in the short term, this remains an objective for the area. This link would be very beneficial to the residents of both settlements from an amenity and health perspective, In addition it could reduce the number of car journeys between the settlements, particularly in relation to activities for younger members of the community. In addition, better pedestrian and cycle access to Fiddown, could increase accessibility to the River Suir and may in turn encourage the secondary benefits and improvement of the site of the Fiddown Castle.
Objective – T7:
To investigate the feasibility of providing a safe pedestrian and cycleway linkage between Fiddown and Piltown, subject to financial and human resources.
The main road through Fiddown is well served by public lighting, and lighting was required as part of any new residential development. Lighting has also been erected along the Strand Road and Rathmore Road.
There are no double yellow lines in the village at present and parking is mainly provided on-street. The shop and Chinese take-away share parking areas, and it appears that sufficient parking is provided to the front and side of these premises. Having regard to the low level of commercial activity in Fiddown, there does not appear to be a significant need for additional car parking provision.
At Meade’s Tavern, the junction is poorly defined, and is leading to disorganised parking. This situation can be improved with a more clearly defined junction arrangement and the relocation of parking from the junction, possibly to the rear of Meade’s Tavern.
The car-parking standards as set out in the Kilkenny County Development Plan shall apply to new development in the village.
Objective – T8:
To investigate the feasibility of delineating parking at the junction of Meade’s Tavern with improved junction markings.
2.3.5 Public transport
Fiddown is well served by bus services linking the town with Waterford, Limerick, Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir. The Ring-a-link service is active in the area provides a service in the south-west of Kilkenny.
There are no bus shelters within the village at present, and an objective of the plan will be to investigate the possibility of a bus shelter being erected in the village.
In addition it will be investigated if a more suitable location for the existing bus stop can be provided within the village.
Objective – T9:
To investigate the possibility of a bus shelter being erected in the village and to determine the most suitable location for the bus stop.
The railway line passes through Fiddown, and the old railway station still remains. It was suggested during public consultation that it would be beneficial to the village to re-open the station. The Council have contacted Iarnrod Eireann who have stated that the siding (part of the railway line adjacent to the platform and necessary for passenger safety) was removed in the past, and that it is unlikely to be re-instated.
Questions to consider for Transport:
Do you agree with this approach, if so, why?
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