Tipperary County Council is putting in place additional parking facilities at St Patrick’s Cemetery, Clonmel. Works are currently being carried out in order to improve the facilities for visitors to the cemetery with the provision of a new entrance off St Patrick’s Road and an additional 60 car parking spaces including 10 disabled parking spaces for blue badge holders. The majority of disabled parking spaces will be located near the new section of the cemetery to cater for people with mobility issues.
The additional parking spaces are to accommodate the increased volume of traffic accessing the cemetery and to facilitate a separation of pedestrians and vehicles in order to provide a safer environment for everyone.
It is anticipated that work to provide additional parking facilities at the cemetery will be completed by the end of September and new arrangements for vehicular access will be introduced thereafter. There will be no restrictions on pedestrian access to the cemetery.
Trolleys will also be provided for people who wish to transport heavy items or material to the graves and CCTV cameras will be installed at the new car park.
The current arrangements which allow vehicular traffic unrestricted access to all sections of the cemetery is unsustainable; particularly in a cemetery which was not originally designed and built for vehicular access. The priority for the Council is to provide safe and secure access and egress for all pedestrians who are the majority of visitors using the pathways in the main part of the cemetery.
Traffic surveys were carried out in January and February 2018 which counted an average of between 1,600 and 1,700 traffic movements per week. A follow up survey was carried out from 12th to 19th June which showed a significant increase in traffic volumes up to 4,373 during that week. That was a daily average of 625 vehicle movements.
The increasing volumes of traffic is not only impacting on people who wish to visit their family grave in a quiet and peaceful environment but vehicles are also causing repeated damage to grave kerbs causing upset and distress for families of the deceased.
In addition, traffic is impacting on the operations of the cemetery including funerals and maintenance work.
The introduction of vehicular restrictions will ensure that only authorised monument contractors are operating in the cemetery. Persons erecting headstones in St Patrick’s
Cemetery are required to have a permit from the Council in advance of entering the
cemetery to ensure compliance with current regulations.
The Council acknowledges and appreciates the genuine concerns expressed by public representatives and members of St Patrick’s Cemetery Committee regarding the changes that will impact on people who regularly drive into the cemetery to visit their families’
Tipperary County Council staff and the Mayor of Clonmel Borough District, Cllr. Richie Molloy, met with representatives of St Patrick’s Cemetery Committee on Thursday 6th September in order to hear their concerns and receive a petition against barriers being installed restricting access for public vehicles that carry disabled and elderly people.
Council staff explained that increasing volume of traffic driving into the cemetery is creating a number of problems in a graveyard that was not originally designed or built to cater for
modern day traffic numbers.
The pathways throughout the cemetery are not wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and vehicles and priority needs to be given to pedestrians to protect their health and safety.
As the cemetery is also a place of work the council must ensure that every effort is made to provide a safe environment for workers. Vehicles are a health and safety hazard to council staff working and operating equipment. The separation of pedestrians and vehicles will
assist in the safe operation and maintenance of the cemetery.
A copy of the June 2018 traffic survey is attached.
10th September 2018
Tipperary County Council
Clonmel Borough District
Civic Offices, Emmet Street
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Telephone Number – 0761 06 5000