Kells may look at HGV ban as trucks remain in town

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 14th July, 2010 4:58pm

Kells may look at HGV ban as trucks remain in town

Drivers may be driving through Kells to avoid M3 tolls.

Kells Town Council may have to introduce by-laws restricting heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) if trucks continue to drive through the town, according to local councillors.

While the volume of traffic through Kells has reduced significantly following the opening of the M3 motorway, there is still a substantial number of lorries passing through the town every day.

The cathaoirleach of Kells Town Council, Cllr Conor Ferguson, said there were still plenty of trucks passing through Kells and he believed councillors would have to look at bringing in by-laws to restrict HGVs driving through the town.

He said trucks travelling from Ardee to the west didn't seem to realise that they could bypass the town and he believed that many truck drivers didn't realise that the bypass of Kells was actually toll-free.

He believed that when traffic-calming measures and pedestrian crossings were in place, it would make it more difficult for trucks to pass through the town and would discourage them from driving into Kells.

Jess Olohan, president of Kells Chamber of Commerce, said there were still a few trucks passing through Kells, but things had got quieter, the town was much more pleasant and tourists were able to see the attractions of the town.

She believed some truck drivers were just taking the route they knew, as there was no need to go through the town to avoid the tolls. She said some businesses who have a passing trade had been feeling the pinch since the opening of the motorway, and it was now important to encourage people to stop in Kells. She was sure that, over the years, the benefit to the town would be great.

Cllr John Farrelly said a lot of trucks were coming off the motorway at Navan and going back on at the Kells South entrance to avoid the tolls and he called for a meeting between the Department of Transport and the hauliers' association to work something out.

"There is no point having this new road and people not using it," he said.

Cllr Brian Collins said that while there was still a flow of trucks through the town, the M3 and the N52 bypass had made Kells a lot easier to drive through. "It has also given us a lot more freedon to use the town as we see fit, and not have to do what the NRA tell us," he said.

He said that if trucks coming from the Ardee direction and heading towards the west were coming through the town just for a short-cut, the council would have to take action.

Cllr Brian Curran said that many trucks were continuing to drive through the town and he suggested the council approach the various companies involved out of concern for the safety of people in the town.

He also suggested that if the trucks continued to use the town, the council should introduce restrictions banning trucks from the centre of the town, unless they have business in Kells.

Cllr Oliver Sweeney said there had been a lot of problems in the beginning, but the number of HGVs going through the town had reduced. "They are beginning to use the by-pass now, but we will have to monitor the situation, because we might have to introduce bye-laws," he said.

Cllr Sweeney pointed out that there was no toll on the by-pass of Kells. Some trucks and cars were bypassing the town, but then going onto the old N3 at Kilmainham to avoid paying the toll.

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