The ongoing pilot scheme involving the partial pedestrianisation of West Street in Drogheda has been shelved for the moment, as Covid-19 Level 3 restrictions come into effect in Louth and around the country.
Louth County Council have already run one trial weekend – on September 19 and 20 – and were due to hold the second of three such weekends later this month, on Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25, as well as the following Bank Holiday Monday.
However, the local authority have now postponed this month’s pilot weekend. It remains to be seen whether a further pilot weekend in November will go ahead as planned.
Speaking at Monday’s Drogheda Borough Council meeting in Drogheda, Director of Services Paddy Donnelly confirmed that the council had decided against publishing a public notice in advance of the closure of part of West Street to traffic, a statutory requirement.
“Because of the uncertainty around Covid restrictions, the decision was taken not to publish a public notice for the second pilot. We will continue to review that,” he said.
No date had been set for which weekend in November would host the third and final trial period, but the council are now looking to tie in the next trial weekend with the annual switching on of the Christmas lights in Drogheda – restrictions permitting.
“The Chief Executive would have it in mind that the matter would be reviewed coming towards the annual Christmas Lights event, that happens around that time. It may be a more opportune time to reintroduce that,” Mr Donnelly said.
He said there were “mixed reviews” about the success of the first pilot held last month. Louth County Council are reviewing the football numbers and comments and submissions made ahead of future rollouts.
The local authority received 60 objections to the pedestrianisation trial in the weeks leading up to September’s first pilot.
The complaints focused on issues such as traffic, a decrease in parking spaces, the movement of disabled bays and town bus services having to be rerouted. The pedestrianisation takes place from the junction of Stockwell Street and Peter Street.