Wednesday 21 February 2018

Seems the customer is always lazy

ENNISCORTHY shopkeepers trading in the centre of the town have experienced a fall in the number of customers darkening their doors recently. So what could be the reason for the drop in business? The worldwide recession compounded by the collapse of the Irish financial system might have something to do with it: they admit that.

But the business folk of such formerly thriving thoroughfares as Rafter Street and Market Square would prefer to focus instead on local factors affecting custom, issues on which they can take action. So, they have persuaded the Town Council to switch direction of the one-way traffic flow on the upper section of Irish Street in the hope of giving retail in uptown Scalderville the kiss of life.

In future, motorists coming past St. Aidan's Cathedral and along Main Street towards the square will no longer be able to dodge down Irish Street. Instead, drivers on the loose in Irish Street or the Old Barracks will be invited to make their way past the old Murphy-Flood's site into the traditional old commercial quarter.

Superintendent Liam Carolan has intimated that he would prefer to retain the existing traffic regime. Council officials have signalled that reversing the flow of cars will lead to tailbacks all the way back to The Duffry at the top of the town.

The traders are concerned that people coming out of Dunnes Stores into Barrack Street at present have to drive all the way around the quays to reach the square - a journey of half a mile. With the traffic switched, they will hardly have to shift into second gear with the square just around the corner.

Hold on a moment. What does this say about the car-obsessed era we inhabit? The distance on foot from Dunnes to Breda's boutique to Kinsella's jewellery centre in Market Square is just over 100 yards. From Dunnes to Breda's boutique on the far side of the square is short of 200 yards. From Dunnes to Martin Doyle's butcher shop in far off Court Street is well shy of 300 yards.

The customer, it seems, is always lazy.

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