Clare County Council will pedestrianise several streets in Ennis and reroute traffic on a temporary basis from Wednesday as part of its continued efforts to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
The local authority, in consultation with a stakeholder group comprising representatives from businesses, the community, and the wider public sector, is endeavouring to support residents, the business community and all citizens to access the town safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Government has published its Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, comprising 5 phases to enable our country to reopen in a slow, phased way, commencing from 18th May, 2020. Notwithstanding any potential easing of restrictions, it is expected that 2m wide physical distancing will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. Clare County Council in conjunction with its stakeholders is preparing a Mobility Plan for the town which will evolve in line with the Government Roadmap.
As restrictions are eased, the rate of the virus in the community will be constantly monitored by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the Government. Members of the public are reminded of the importance of complying with public health guidelines at all times.
Under stage 1 of the temporary Covid-19 Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan, traffic re-routing and other measures will come into effect in Ennis Town Centre from Wednesday, 20th May, 2020. This initial stage puts in place measures to ensure street space can be shared safely by pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and cars, in order to ensure physical distancing can be adhered to by those coming into the town centre. The Plan incorporates traffic re-routing measures, amendments to delivery times and locations, and changes to car parking provision.
Clare County Council is continuing to work with our stakeholders on the further refinement of the Plan over the coming weeks and months. The Plan is a living document and will be subject to regular review. Some of the key initial measures are listed below.
From Wednesday, 20th May, 2020:
Traffic re-routing measures
Measures will apply from 7:00am to 6:00pm and will affect the following areas:
- Abbey Street at the entrance to Abbey Street Carpark
- Frances Street at the entrance to Abbey Street
- O’Connell Street
- Bank Place to the exit from Abbey Street Carpark
- Salt House Lane and High Street
- Cabey’s Lane at Market Place
- Lower Parnell Street from Carmody Street to Cabey’s Lane
- Woodquay can be accessed from the carpark side
- Summerhill will be altered to a two-way traffic system, with access to River Lane from the river side and Fahy’s Lane from Summerhill.
Deliveries will be able to access the restricted area from 7:00am to 11:00am and additional loading bays will be provided in Templegate carpark and Abbey Street car park to assist unloading outside these hours.
To meet the 2m wide social distancing Government requirements, it is necessary to adjust existing parking and street layouts to provide additional width on Market Street, removing the parking on Bank Place from the AIB to the Post Office, adjusting the perpendicular parking on Woodquay from Parnell Street to the car park access road.
Traffic re-routing measures will also impact the on-street car parking in those areas.
The Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Johnny Flynn, said: “This is about making the town safe for residents, staff and shoppers at this important phase of the loosening of some of the Government public health Covid-19 lockdown measures. Detailed planning has been carried out by the Council with the HSE and An Garda Síochána to ensure the town streets are as best as can be achieved in compliance with strict public health guidelines with regard to the essential tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – namely the availability of pedestrians to maintain 2m social distancing in public streets.
“We all have stayed home as asked but now we are entering a phase when we can come together in a safe way to save local jobs in Ennis.”
Carmel Kirby, Director of Services, Clare County Council, said: “Ennis Town Centre is characterised by narrow streetscapes with restrictive footpath widths on a number of streets. We are engaging with our stakeholders to plan how the street space can be shared safely by everyone while complying with the Government public health measures.”
Allen Flynn, President, Ennis Chamber of Commerce, said: “The temporary Town Centre Plan for Ennis has been designed to meet social distancing and other mandatory Covid-19 requirements. To encourage people back into Ennis we need to ensure we are providing a safe place in which to visit, shop, dine and work. As part of Clare County Council’s working group, Ennis Chamber of Commerce will continue to look for a balance between public health and safety and the requirements of our members as they seek to re-open their businesses in accordance with phased plans outlined in the Government Roadmap. We will continue to monitor and review the arrangements within the Plan in light of future developments.”
Clare County Council is notifying the public of the temporary new arrangements through its communications channels. All citizens accessing Ennis Town Centre are advised to carefully review the maps to familiarise themselves with the changes which will come into effect on 20th May, 2020.
Full details and maps are available on the Clare County Council website: https://www.clarecoco.ie/services/roads-and-transport/news/temporary-covid-19-town-mobility-plan-for-ennis.html
Members of the public can contact Clare County Council Customer Services with queries at: firstname.lastname@example.org