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Town layout scheme is a 'working plan'

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New bollards on Grattan St to ensure adequate physical distancing for pedestrians. Pic: Donal Hackett

New bollards on Grattan St to ensure adequate physical distancing for pedestrians. Pic: Donal Hackett

New bollards on Grattan St to ensure adequate physical distancing for pedestrians. Pic: Donal Hackett

The new mobility plan in place in Sligo town is a 'working plan' and will be reassessed as time moves on - though it is not known how long it will need to be in place.

That's according to Sligo County Council Director of Services Tom Kilfeather, who told members at last week's June meeting that it was difficult to get things right straight away.

The temporary mobility plan, which came into place on Monday, June 15th, has been introduced in order to ensure adequate physical distancing for pedestrians around the urban area, particularly on some of the busier streets. It has involved the removal, in some cases, of parking spaces for motorists.

Mr Kilfeather was responding to queries from some councillors who questioned whether business owners were consulted.

The Director of Services said the decisions were made having engaged with traders and other stakeholders.

The council is also receptive to submissions on the plan.

CEO Ciaran Hayes explained that there will be changes ahead with regard to parking and walking, and that it was a work in progress.

While it was unclear as yet what the changes may be, Mr Hayes said the only certainty was that adjustments to the way pedestrians operate while in an urban area are likely to happen as a result of Covid-19.

There were also calls for the council to take up funding and advice from the National Transport Authority (NTA) with regard to temporary mobility plans for the county's other towns and villages.

A motion from Cllr Sinead Maguire requested that the council advance plans for other areas where mobility plans may be required.

The Fine Gael councillor said that other towns, such as Tubbercurry, Strandhill and Rosses Point may require a similar approach.

Cllr Maguire also said consultation with the local business owners was important.

This was echoed by her party colleague, Cllr Thomas Walsh, who said perhaps there was not as much time as one would like for consultation to take place, given the need to advance the plans in a short timeframe.

Cllr Thomas Healy pointed out that there are also concerns in Collooney, where some streets are quite narrow.

Cllr Marie Casserly said it was good that it was a 'working plan' and that lines of communication were open.

Cllr Casserly also emphasised the importance of shopping local to support business and employment in localities around the county.

In response to developing plans for regional towns and villages, Mr Kilfeather said the plan was put in place in Sligo first because there had to be a focus on the largest urban area.

He acknowledged that plans for other towns are also important, while also pointing out the challenges in procuring the equipment and materials necessary to implement the new arrangements in Sligo town.

Sligo Champion