The pedestriansation caused a stand off with local business people when it was first introduced. Pictures: Gerry Faughnan
A contentious pilot phase to pedestrianise part of Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon has concluded as the Council admitted the expected footfall was not what was required to justify its continuation.
In a statement, Leitrim County Council said:
Leitrim County Council has now completed the pilot phase of the pedestrianisation of Carrick-on-Shannon Town Centre in accordance with agreement reached recently. The pilot phase operated from 1pm on Saturdays through to 8am on Monday mornings over the last four weekends concluding on Monday the 2nd August. The area of Main Street included in the pilot was from the junction of Main Street with Church Lane/St Mary’s Close to the junction with St George’s Terrace.
The purpose of the pilot phase was to establish to what extent the experience of visitors and shoppers on the street could be enhanced through providing opportunities for space to be used differently to support the vibrancy and welcoming feel of the town centre. Secondly the pilot phase focused on the potential to generate greater footfall in the area of the town centre. In addition, each weekend the Council supported the initiative with an imaginative, but limited due to meeting Covid related restrictions, animation programme.
Some businesspeople angrily objected to the pedestrianisation of part of Main Street.
As the Council outlined at the initiation of the pilot phase the trial was kept under review over the last four weekends. In general, the outcome of the pilot phase demonstrated that the town lends itself well to the concept of pedestrianisation and that the experience of those visiting the town was enhanced while families availed of the laid-on initiatives particularly aimed at children.
However, on balance, and taking into account the necessary restrictions arising from the pandemic, the level of increased footfall arising from the initiative was lower that what would be required to justify the continued pedestrianisation pilot this year. Consequently, the Council has decided to conclude the initiative at this stage for the current year.
Going forward the Council will take the learning from this pilot into account as it considers, in conjunction with other stakeholders, future initiatives including elements of pedestrianisation aimed at the continued strengthening of the town centre of Carrick-on-Shannon.
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