Monday 19 February 2018

€200K to 'fix' the town centre

Anne Campbell

THE cost of 'fixing' Market Square is almost €150,000 and work on the controversial cycle lanes at Stapleton Place is more than €44,000, according to figures obtained by the Argus.

And the €200,000 total price tag has been branded as 'shocking' by former chairwoman of Dundalk Town Council Cllr Jennifer Green, because of her view that more public consultation in the first place could have 'saved a lot of money'.

Contractors have been working at the square for the past three weeks and the traffic lights – at crossings from Earl Street to the courthouse and square - were switched on last Friday after they were removed in the original multi-million euro refurbishment.

In addition, mature trees have been cut down from Stapleton Place in order to remodel the controversial cycle lanes.

Figures obtained from the council show that 'stage three safety audit' works carried out at the Market Square are costing €119,730 plus VAT.

The contract for provision of pedestrian signals at Market Square cost €18,771 plus VAT. The work at Stapleton Place cost €44,919 plus VAT.

Taxpayers are footing the bill for the works.

Cllr Green said the figures obtained by the Argus are 'shocking'.

She said: 'There should have been far more public consultation on pedestrian safety at the square in the first place and if that had happened, I don't think this money would have now to be spent.

'The majority of the square is working very well, but the pedestrian crossing system installed was very confusing.'

Cllr Green expressed the view that more public consultation could have saved a lot of money at Stapleton Place and added the cutting down of the trees was 'an absolute disgrace'.

She said: 'Sinn Fein has been asking for the council to consult with residents and those affected by decisions they're making, even though they don't have to unless the contract is worth over a certain amount.

'I am glad to see the public has been consulted on the forthcoming work at Clanbrassil Street and that is certainly an improvement'.

The Argus

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