We’ll have a one-way system in place in Kilkenny City for at least the next year.
That’s according to Mayor John Coonan, who says it’s needed to allow for social distancing as Covid cases continue to rise.
Elected members of the City Municipal District agreed at their monthly meeting this afternoon (Friday) to extend the temporary traffic system.
And Councillor Coonan says it’s unlikely to be lifted for the duration of the pandemic:
“I’d say twelve months from now, that we’ll probably have that one-way sytem still in place, or at least until the end of this Covid pandemic across the country. That’s to ensure that what we do in Kilkenny City, we can do it safely, and we can fulfill the roles, obligations and recommendations that were made to us for social distancing and the health and safety of all concerned.”
Meanwhile, one other local councillor claims the system’s extended use will lead to job losses and shop closures.
The traffic scheme was introduced in June, and since then it’s seen negative feedback from some city traders.
Councillor David Fitzgerald fears the measure will soon hinder shoppers from coming into town:
“There’s certainly huge differences between the reported results from traders versus the general public. The public, in fairness to them, have embraced the new system and we’re seeing traffic flowing reasonably smoothly through the city” he told KCLR News.
“[But] there is a question in terms of the long term viablity of the city centre, and in particular the Director of Services pointed out that traffic volumes in the city centre have fallen since the one-way system, which would suggest that there are fewer people coming into Kilkenny city centre. If that were to continue in the long-term, you’re going to see jobs lost and businesses closed. We’ve seen a lot of closures in recent times, and we as local authority members have to be certain that we’re not only keeping the city safe and that it looks well, but also that we keep it alive and vibrant and that the over 1,500 people who work in Kilkenny city continue to have a job to go to” he warned.