Wednesday 24 October 2018

Templeshannon going one-way with €4.3m plan

Regeneration is to include one-way system and footbridge

Templeshannon is set for a major regeneration
Templeshannon is set for a major regeneration

Pádraig Byrne

The days of tight squeezes between cars and trucks passing through Templeshannon are to become a thing of the past as soon as the first phase of the Templeshannon Regeneration Strategy is set to become a reality.

While the overall plan for the area is a long-term one spread over 15 to 20 years, the first phase consisting of major streetscape works and the installation of a new pedestrian footbridge to the town centre, is to begin with the coming months at a cost of €4.3million, mainly made up of council funds.

At the most recent meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council, architects told members that it was their goal to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in Templeshannon for pedestrians and to eliminate some of the traffic congestion which has plagued the area for years. With this in mind, it has been decided that a one-way system will be put in operation meaning that traffic will only be able to travel down Templeshannon and onto the quay. Anyone wishing to head out the other way will have to head up Spring Valley and back around.

A statement from Wexford County Council said: 'The existing traffic congestion issues at Templeshannon are addressed in the context of the overall traffic management plan being developed in connection with the Flood scheme and the M11 Bypass Project. WCC engaged traffic management consultants to examine the particular issues arising in relation to Templeshannon and to provide a solution. Following detailed analysis of a number of options, one-way southbound on Templeshannon was identified as the recommended solution taking a number of factors into consideration.'

'Traffic from the west of Enniscorthy heading east will use the old bridge, Shannon Quay and Springvalley,' it continued. 'At the junction of The Shannon and Spring Valley, traffic can go left for Templeshannon or right for Drumgoold and points further east. The roads and junctions along this route will be improved as required to facilitate these traffic movements.'

Anton Treacy of Treacy's Hotel in Templeshannon has welcomed the development, but is hoping that some provision will be made for a left hand turn from the old bridge into The Waterfront carpark.

'I think this regeneration is overdue and is very positive and very necessary,' Mr Treacy said. 'I'm a big advocate for it, however, I do think a critical part is allowing access to Templeshannon via a left hand turn off the old bridge. While most of my customers will be coming in from the other side off the bypass, I think it's important that Templeshannon is still accessible from the town centre side. Access is crucial for the sustainability of the area.'

The other major part of the first phase is the construction of a pedestrian footbridge linking Templeshannon to the town centre. While a number of critics online have dismissed it as unnecessary with a footpath to remain on the Old Bridge, Wexford County Council remains firm that it's a central part of the regeneration plans.

'The linking of Templeshannon with the rest of Enniscorthy is a critical factor in the overall strategy to regenerate the Templeshannon area,' a spokesman for the Wexford County Council said. 'The construction of a high quality and attractive pedestrian bridge over the Slaney at this point will significantly reinforce the connections between Templeshannon and the commercial sections of Enniscorthy west of the river, helping to improve social and commercial interactions between both areas.' The spokesman did also confirm that a footpath will remain on one side of the Old Bridge.

The strategy is now due to proceed to preliminary design, planning and detailed stages and it is hoped that work will commence in the coming months with the streetscape expected to be finished next year and the pedestrian bridge in 2020.

Enniscorthy Guardian