Gowran is located on the N9, the national route linking Dublin to Waterford. The M9/M10 Kilcullen to Waterford Scheme is under construction at present, and the section bypassing Gowran, the Knocktopher-Powerstown section, is due for opening by the end of 2010. This road will act as a bypass for the town and will relieve much of the heavy through traffic from the main street. When the M9 opens the N9 will be reclassified as a regional road, the R448.
From the public consultation exercise the main issues were in relation to:
- The provision of footpaths; on the Kilkenny Road, on the Waterford Road and to the hurling pitch,
- Parking within the town, particularly for St Mary’s Church,
- Traffic calming measures at Mill Road,
- Sightlines at Loughlin’s corner, and
- Speed limits in the town particularly on the National Primary Route.
It was noted in the 2003 Plan that the provision of footpaths from the town along the R702 towards Graiguenamanagh to the pitch & putt club and G.A.A. grounds is an objective which will be difficult to achieve. The road at present has a speed limit of 80 kph and is of substandard width to allow a footpath. To provide a footpath there in the conventional manner would be prohibitive in terms of cost due to the constraints and land acquisition costs. However, it is noted that providing a pedestrian link to the G.A.A. pitch is desirable. In any expansion of the facilities or the grounds at this location, consideration should be given to a means of providing such a link.
During the lifetime of the last Plan, a footpath was provided along the northern edge of the Kilkenny Road (R702) serving the existing houses as far as the junction with Rockshire Lane. This footpath is not continuous, as in one location the installation of a footpath would require land acquisition. The provision of a continuous footpath at this location would require land acquisition. It will be an objective to provide a continuous footpath here, subject to agreement with the landowners, and the availability of funding.
There is no footpath along the Mill Road, but a number of ramps have been installed here for traffic calming purposes.
The footpath on the Waterford Road is not continuous. At present there is a footpath from the town centre out to Bradóg Way, and there is also a footpath on Castle Ellis bridge. For the period of this plan, it will be an objective to extend a continuous footpath as far as the grotto (Bennettsbridge Road).
Policies and Objectives
Obj. T1 Provide a pedestrian link from the existing footpath in the town to the hurling pitch.
Obj. T2 To complete a continuous footpath on the north side of the Kilkenny Road in front of the existing houses, subject to the availability of resources and in agreement with the landowners.
Obj. T3 To extend a continuous footpath along the Waterford Road, as far as the grotto.
2.5.3 Public lighting
Three locations were identified in the last plan as requiring public lighting: along the Kilkenny Road, Rockfield Road and Mill Road. Lighting has been provided along the Mill Road to serve the existing developments. Ducting was put in place along the Kilkenny Road as part of the footpath works. It will be an objective of this plan to provide public lighting along this stretch. As part of the permission granted under 06/1387 on the Rockfield Road, a condition was included to provide public lighting along the Rockfield Road. This has not commenced to date, but lighting will be provided as part of any development on this site.
As part of any new development taking place within the plan area, new footpaths and public lighting will be provided. It is recognised that the undergrounding of cables would enhance the town, however at a prohibitive cost. As the opportunities for this arise, it will be implemented.
Policies & Objectives
Policy T4 To provide quality lighting and footpaths throughout the town that will secure the safe movement of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
Policy T5 To underground existing electricity and telephone wires in the town as the opportunity arises.
Policy T6 To require appropriate public lighting as part of any new residential development.
Obj. T7 To provide public lighting along the Kilkenny Road
Obj. T8 To provide public lighting along the Rockfield Road as part of any development on the Phase 1 lands.
2.5.4 Traffic Management
Traffic calming measures have been put in place on Chapel Road, Mill Road and on Main Street in the period of the last plan. Speed limits on the town’s approaches were also altered.
Two issues that arose through the public consultation was the restricted visibility at both the junction of the R702 (Kilkenny Road) and Main Street (Loughlin’s corner) and the junction of the R702 (Goresbridge Road) and the N9/R448.
Visibility at Loughlin’s corner is obstructed by the building lines. In 2005 a traffic calming scheme was carried out for the town and a pedestrian crossing was installed near the Quik-Pick supermarket. The building lines at this junction result in little or no scope to physically alter the junction, however, the road markings and parking here will be examined in order to improve visibility. The opening of the M9/N9 Motorway will substantially reduce the volume of traffic travelling through the town.
As part of a planning permission granted under 08/176, improvements were to be carried out to the junction of Local Road LS6722 with the Regional Road R702. This work has not been completed to date but an Enforcement file ENF08/201 has been opened and these junction improvements are being pursued.
Policies and Objectives
Obj. T9 To examine the junction of the N9 and R702 (Goresbridge Road) following the reclassification of the N9 to the R448, with a view to increasing visibility at this junction.
Obj. T10 To increase visibility at the junction of the Local Road LS6722 with the Regional Road R702 (Goresbridge Road).
Obj. T11 Examine the road markings and traffic enforcement at Loughlin’s corner with a view to increasing visibility at this junction.
Parking in Gowran is mainly provided on street, with a public car park located at the Fair Green, and a private car park to the east of Loughlin’s pub. The lack of car parking was raised at public consultation, particularly for St. Mary’s church.
The number of delineated spaces available at the Fair Green is 17, including one disabled parking space. This does not include for on street parking outside the homes and in front of Harding’s Fireplaces. Harding’s also has a customer car park to the rear. The Fair Green car park was surveyed on a number of occasions and there was spare capacity each time. The signage improvements for St. Mary’s may help in this regard. The issue of parking in the town could be re-examined following the reclassification of the National route to a regional route.
Policies (Chapter 10 of the County Development Plan 2008-2014 also applies):
Policy T12 To ensure adequate car parking spaces are provided in all new developments
Policy T13 To ensure appropriate parking provision for tourists and locals
Policy T14 To assess the provision of on-street parking in the town subsequent to the reclassification of the N9 to the R448.
2.5.6 Linkages within the Town
As discussed in Section 2.1.2 above, in assessing any new development in Gowran, the Council will have regard to the development potential of adjoining land within the development boundary. One of the elements of this integration will be the provision of pedestrian and cycle linkages between all new developments, to provide for a pleasant network of routes, public spaces and walkways interlinking the town.
In accordance with the County Development Plan Section 10.30, Cycle Facilities, bicycle stands will be required for any new development proposal. The number of stands required will be one quarter the number of car parking spaces required for the development.
Policy T15 To provide for appropriate pedestrian and cycleway linkages between all new and existing developments
2.5.7 Public transport
There is a good public transport service in Gowran due to its location on the N9 national route from Dublin to Waterford. There are daily buses to Waterford and to Dublin, provided by both Bus Éireann and J.J. Kavanagh’s. Kavanagh’s buses use the petrol station to the north of the town for its collection and drop-off point. The two Bus Éireann stops are located on the western end of Main Street, beside Bradóg Way housing estate. There is no bus shelter here at present.
Obj. T16 To support Bus Éireann in the provision of a bus shelter and road markings at the bus stops.