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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Carlow Nationalist — Lower Tullow Street to go car-free for 12 days

By Sarah Slater

A PILOT pedestrian scheme is to be trialed along Lower Tullow Street on a number of days over the next three months.

The road will be closed to allow for various activities/interventions to increase footfall and promote business within the area.

The pilot pedestrianisation will take place on 5, 6, 12, 13 April; 3, 4, 10, 11, 31 May and 1, 7 and 8 June from 11am to 5.30pm each day. The road will be closed between its junctions with Potato Market and Dublin Street.

In a statement, the council’s director of services Pádraig O’Gorman said the decision to pilot the pedestrianisation is part of our ongoing commitment to create a vibrant and welcoming town-centre environment for residents and visitors alike and to support current retailers and hospitality providers.

The pedestrianised street will provide the council with a unique space for community events, markets, busking and so forth.

It is envisaged that the benefits of the project will be increased footfall, as pedestrianisation with a supported programme of activities has proven to attract more people to shopping areas. By creating a vehicle-free zone, the council aims to encourage locals and visitors to explore the area on foot.

There will be an enhanced shopping experience, as a vehicle-free environment provides a more relaxed and enjoyable time. The scheme also aims to provide an opportunity for outdoor seating for cafés, restaurants and other premises that provide food and drink. This can create a vibrant, social atmosphere, encouraging people to spend more time in the area, according to the council.

Rowena Dooley, president of County Carlow Chamber, said they “welcome the focus by the council in continuing its drive to further enhance Carlow town centre”.

Ms Dooley added: “The chamber have consulted with the county council in relation to their plans for a pilot pedestrianisation of Lower Tullow Street over specified weekends in April, May and June.

“This initiative underscores the council’s ongoing commitment to fostering a welcoming atmosphere, while also acknowledging the importance of supporting existing retailers and hospitality providers. By exploring pedestrianisation, the council aims to assess its potential impact on enhancing the overall appeal of our town centre with a balanced consideration of diverse perspectives and interests.”

Ms Dooley continued that the council’s collaborative approach – engaging with business owners, operators and stakeholders from the early stages – is “important to getting the best results” from this pilot for all.

“We will continue to engage with them and our members over the coming months and look forward to further discussions and a review of the outcomes from the pilot in mid-June,” the president concluded.


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