The CAS DEBATE
THEY SAY: The contract is in place and has been signed.
WE SAY:The contract is conditional upon factors that have not been satisfied, it is possible to forestall or rescind it.
THEY SAY: The bridge is necessary to relieve traffic congestion.
WE SAY:The bridge was planned to allow trucks access to a brewery, the brewery has now closed.
No permission exists for the roads that would link this bridge to the Ring Road, all traffic will continue to end up in Vicar Street. Kennyswell Road has no relief.
The majority of traffic coming across Greensbridge is at peak school hours.
Why not complete the Ring Road and examine the possibility of provision of a secondary school for the Eastern half of the city and stop the unnecessary expenditure before irreversible damage is done to the city.
THEY SAY: The bridge is necessary for development
WE SAY: What kind of development will result from a bridge such as this through the heart of a medieval city that relies heavily on tourism? This concrete, Flyover Bridge will destroy the integrity of the medieval city, ruin unique views which are part of the key selling point of the city and threaten the unique character on which, tourism, Kilkenny’s main industry depends.
Why not complete the Ring Road and give visitors to the city the views and experience that they came to see and give commuters the opportunity to go around the city on a ring road that connects all parts of the city thus reducing traffic on Greensbridge.
THEY SAY:The bridge is necessary for job creation on the brewery site.
WE SAY: Jobs are important and the lifeblood of our community. When will these jobs be created? Who will create them? A development cannot be planned unless the type of businesses that will populate it are understood first.
Many industries can be encouraged into the brewery site such as IT, digital, entertainment, media and educational and cultural institutions that do not require a large access bridge and that would encourage restaurants etc. along routes to work.
THEY SAY: ‘The need for a significant coach park at the Northern end of the brewery site is a key component of the Mobility Management Strategy for the City Centre’.
WE SAY: A coach park on this site will significantly impact tourist footfall and local businesses in High Street, Patrick Street, the Castle Road, Kieran Street and John’s Street. The Medieval Mile investment project seeks to link the city from the Castle to St Canice’s Catherdal in a dynamic and inclusive way. The C.A.S and integrated coach-park project, together with the Diageo visitor centre will encourage a fast, in/out, self -sustaining visitor quarter at one end of the city only, depriving other parts of the city of tourist spend.
Plan the development of the brewery site carefully to maximize appropriate job creation and visitor spend for the whole city. Situate development dependent on HGV access on the outskirts of our city. Keep our city centre unique, vibrant and tourist friendly.
THEY SAY: The protest at Greensbridge is undemocratic.
WE SAY: Democracy was subverted when the newly elected Council, many of whom had stood on an anti- CAS platform, and others who supported a review, were denied by the (un-elected) executive the chance to vote and debate the issues.
The elected members should be allowed to vote, under pre- contract signing conditions, on whether or not to proceed with the development. The contract had not been signed when the current council took up office.
THEY SAY: The protest is costing the city money.
WE SAY: The bridge is a waste of public money, conceived in the 1970’s and is no longer the best solution nor does it serve any rational purpose.
The protesters are peaceful, law abiding local citizens from all walks of life who are exercising their constitutional right to protest. There is no justification for the policing at the site nor the costs of same. The protesters have initiated a massive decrease in policing with the local Gardai.
Nobody wants to waste public funds. The responsibility for the cost of policing lies with the Executive. It was their choice not to provide for an immediate review. The elected members unanimously voted to support same in July.