Green Party representative for Drogheda Urban district David Rossiter says it is now time for Louth County Council to begin to draw down funding and get to work on pedestrianising West Street and introducing brand new cycling infrastructure in the town.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, having negotiated his party’s inclusion in the coalition government which was officially formed late last week, has been handed the brief of transport as part of a wider remit as Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport in the new cabinet.
Rossiter says that there is to be a “huge increase in spending on public transport and active modes of transport like cycling and walking” nationally and believes now is the time to begin to put plans into action.
“While I’m disappointed that Green members have decided to back this coalition government, we must now ensure that Drogheda benefits from the Green Party’s wins in the negotiations,” he said in a statement.
“Particularly, there is to be a huge increase in spending on public transport and active modes of transport like cycling and walking. This ensures Drogheda can pedestrianise West Street, making it a people-friendly city centre.”
Drogheda Borough Council members have suggested recently that pedestrianisation could help revitalise the area of not just Narrow West Street but West Street as a whole. The closures of the road to vehicular traffic for the 2018 and 2019 Fleadh Cheoil offered a glimpse as to what life may be like should a decision to pedestrianise be taken.
“With proper planning, West Street will become the central hub of cycling infrastructure for Drogheda and it’s surrounding towns and villages,” Rossiter added. “This would allow people to cycle from Bettystown to Drogheda and even Clogherhead to Drogheda.
“We should help our communities feel able to get outside and active, paying special attention to school areas, so children can use their bikes safely and to get to and from school. I look forward to advocating for a healthier and happier Drogheda during the lifetime of this government.”
Speaking in May, Rossiter said that the lockdown had proffered a opportunity to “reimagine how a more people-centered town can function, and how our town can operate in a greener way as we seek to build back better after the lockdown.” He launched a petition last month urging the local authority to pedestrianise the main shopping thoroughfare in the town. As of June 29, it has received 464 signatures.