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Council update mobility plan by opening streets till 11am

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An update to the temporary COVID-19 Town Centre Mobility Plan for Ennis will be implemented from Thursday.

As part of a review into the plan, it has been decided by the stakeholder group responsible for its introduction have announced changes to the plan focused on the re-routing of traffic.

From this Thursday, the hours of operation of the traffic re-routing measures will change. The new hours are from 11:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Saturday. Delivery times remain unchanged. 

This is to facilitate persons with reduced mobility to access the town using their vehicle. Businesses are also encouraged to facilitate this vulnerable group during these hours. 

From 11am to 6pm in the interest of pedestrian safety, parking in the affected streets is not permitted and will be strictly enforced from the outset. 

Parking enforcement will also be increased in the Market Street, entrance to Cabey’s Lane, and Summerhill areas of town.

Clare County Council has confirmed that the Cloister/GAA car park is now open, providing over 100 additional car parking spaces. Business parking permit holders are encouraged to avail of the parking in this area. The car park is also available for use by the general public.

Changes may be altered pending changes to Government restrictions relating to COVID-19. 

A spokesperson for Clare County Council has stressed that the plan was introduced solely in response to COVID-19. “The plan is designed to support residents, the business community and all citizens to access Ennis town in a safe, socially distanced environment as the town centre is characterised by narrow streetscapes and interconnected laneways with restrictive footpath widths”.

Ennis Chamber of Commerce, Retail Excellence Ireland, Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, Older Persons Council, Ennis Tidy Towns, disability advocates, glór, Promote Ennis, HSE and An Garda Síochána currently sit on the stakeholder group which was formed in early May. 

“The remit of the stakeholder group is specifically and only for the purpose and duration of the Covid-19 crisis, to advise Clare County Council. The membership of the stakeholder group has been expanded to include all Elected Members of Ennis Municipal District to reflect the views of everyone,” a local authority spokesperson confirmed. 

The mobility plan remains a living document “and will be updated and amended in line with risk assessments,” the spokesperson added.

Its recent review examined traffic flows, footfall activity, the progression of the Covid-19 pandemic, and took account of all submissions to Clare County Council. The results of the review have been communicated to both the Elected Members and members of the stakeholder group and will result in changes to the hours of operation of the plan.

Clare County Council wishes to re-confirm that the Temporary Covid-19 Town Centre Mobility Plan for Ennis is not intended to be a permanent measure. The Council further confirms that if, in the future (and outside of Covid-19), there is any proposal around permanent pedestrian-friendly measures for any streets in the town, this would be subject to full public consultation.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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