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Arklow traders rejoice as one-way system ends in time for Christmas

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Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

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Main Street in Arklow reopened to two-way traffic at 5pm on Friday evening following road works in the town. Pic: Jim Campbell

wicklowpeople

The Arklow community rejoiced as the completion of the prolonged works on the Arklow Parade Grounds saw the two-way traffic system on Arklow Main Street return last Friday, November 18.

The temporary one-way system on Arklow’s Main Street was introduced in February, as part of the public realm works at the Parade Ground, and was expected to remain in place for just five months.

The protracted Main Street road works have been a source of much consternation over the past 10 months and, with the disruptions to both the traffic system and local commerce set to end, the Arklow community simply cannot wait to celebrate the emancipation of their town.

Local councillors have been having their say, with Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Cllr Tommy Annesley saying, “There’s certainly a bit more atmosphere around the town, now that the work has been mostly completed. There’s a lot of excitement around the opening of the Parade Grounds, now that people can finally get out and walk on it, sit on it, touch it. It’s going to make for a much better Christmas.”

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Independent Cllr Miriam Murphy, said: “It’s great for the town, especially coming up to Christmas. I know people will appreciate the work that has been done. We have had great feedback so far. I know it’s been hard on the local traders but, please God, the people of Arklow till shop locally and reward them.

Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Pat Kennedy added: “As Cathaoirleach of the district I’m delighted to see it open up. It’s great for Arklow and for the public realm, and it looks really well. It has been fairly intense work, but it’s onwards and upwards now.

“Finding more funding for the town is the next step now, we have to get more investment into our rural towns and villages.”

Cllr Kennedy went on to acknowledged the patience of residents and businesses, and expressed his appreciation for their co-operation throughout the works.

“I just want to thank all the people of Arklow for their patience for the duration of the works, and I do think it has been worth it.

“The local businesses are the backbone of our streets and, while it was difficult for the duration of the works, hopefully it will only serve to help their businesses going forward.”

Reacting to the news, owner of the Unique Café and Patisserie on Arklow Main Street, Peter Murray, said: “From the point of view of Arklow’s traders, this is a very positive step in the right direction. Although it has taken a long time, the work that has been done in and around Main Street is really top-class.

“Here at the Unique Café we’re really excited to get on with our plans for the outside of the premises. We have bought wind breakers and outdoor heaters – now we finally get to use them!”

Deirdre McMullan, of McMullans fashions on Arklow Main Street said she is thrilled that the work has been complete and that some sense of normality has been restored after enduring Covid and the prolonged works.

“I won’t be missing the sights and sounds of all that machinery, I can tell you that much!,” Deirdre joked. “Ah, we’re absolutely delighted that the street has opened back up. It looks really well. Hopefully we’ll have good trading over Christmas.

“It has impacted us over the year, but we’re ready to look forward now. Already, with the traffic going two ways, we can see a difference. People are more inclined to pop in for a couple of minutes. It’s great.”

Earlier this month, the Arklow Municipal District announced a programme of events on Sunday, December 11, to mark the completion of the Parade Ground works.

The launch festivities will begin at 2 p.m. with a performance by the talented Arklow Silver Band, followed by a kids art workshop. There will be magicians, jugglers, baton twirlers and all types of street performers, including fire eaters. Special guest Santa will also be taking time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance.


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