THE views of the Killarney public, particularly local businesses, are to be sought on the contentious issue of the daytime pedestrianisation of one of the town’s busiest streets.
Killarney Municipal District Council has confirmed that a consultation process to consider last year’s trials on Plunkett Street will get underway in the coming days. All businesses in the town centre will be notified of the process and the consultation invitation will also be advertised and promoted through social media.
In November KillarneyToday.com reported that a number of businesses opposed to pedestrianisation in the town centre had formed a new action group to make representations to the local council.
The traders, who stress that they are independent of any other representative organisation, sprang to action following a report, also published on KillarneyToday.com, confirming that the majority of the eight local councillors were in favour of continuing with the pedestrianisation project which currently bans traffic on Plunkett Street from 7pm to 7am seven days a week.
Two councillors also spoke in favour of extending the pedestrianised area to take in the stretch from the Killarney Plaza Hotel junction to the top of New Street.
In their letter to the council, the traders said: “We strongly suggest that you abandon any ideas of further pedestrianisation in Killarney town centre and concentrate on more important issues, such as traffic management and parking. We expect to be consulted prior to any future decisions”.
A petition signed by over 40 businesses was taken up in an effort to persuade Killarney Municipal District Council to engage with them.
The traders said: “When the trial started we were all willing to try it but, at the halfway point, we are all extremely negative about the result.”
While several businesses are enthusiastically in favour of pedestrianisation, others have voiced concern that it is having as adverse impact on their livelihoods.
Vehicular traffic is prevented from entering the narrow town centre street for 12 hours a day throughout the year and, in addition, the street has been pedestrian only for extended trial periods at other times of the year, including an extended period from March to September. It is the daytime trials that will be subject to review. Last year Plunkett Street had been closed to traffic, from 11am to 7am, with a four-hour window for deliveries, seven days a week, from March 31 to April 9, May 11 to May 21 and again from June 29 to September 3.
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