Fingal County Council release statement about New Street, Malahide
The pedestrianised New Street has been enjoyed by the community of Malahide and visitors to the village throughout the summer and has assisted businesses to keep trading during heightened COVID-19 restrictions.
The purpose of introducing pedestrianisation on New Street was to encourage and facilitate social distancing for citizens going about their daily business and to decrease traffic levels in the centre of Malahide by encouraging people to walk or cycle from their homes or use the nearby car parks and walk from there.
As part of the ongoing consultation process, Fingal County Council has now developed an alternative proposal which creates a compromise between retaining much of the improved pedestrian facility and public realm whilst adding cyclist facilities, a single one-way carriageway, and space for drop-offs, loading and disabled parking.
Under the proposed arrangement, traffic will be allowed to proceed one-way down New Street from the junction with Main Street towards The Green. The roadway will run parallel to a cycleway, which will be separated from vehicular traffic by architectural features and delineation.
Extra space has been dedicated for public use between the carriageway and the footpath to improve social distancing while also maximising the area outside business premises that can utilize the space for outdoor dining in a safe manner. Public Realm space outside the homes of residents on the street has been minimised to prevent pedestrians congregating in these areas.
There is a strong focus on safety. The roadway is designed to slow down traffic and protect pedestrians and cyclists. On-street parking on New Street has been replaced by the Public Realm areas for people and businesses to utilise in the absence of parked cars, which are now facilitated in the nearby Bridgefield Car Park. A drop off/loading bay and a disabled bay have been provided at the south end of the street to facilitate the needs of the businesses and amenities that are present on New Street.
The alternative proposal has been future-proofed to ensure New Street can comply with the different levels that may be in force from time to time under the Government’s Living with COVID Plan.
The pedestrianisation of New Street generated increased footfall during the pilot programme with data from mid-July showing 76,000 pedestrians using the street during a four-week period. There was also a significant improvement in air quality as well as in traffic flow through the Diamond with low volumes of traffic recorded on the adjacent road network.
A meeting with stakeholders in Malahide has been arranged for next week at which the Council will outline the options considered and the alternative proposal. The implementation stage and the programme of works will also be tabled for consideration. The Council recommends that there be no disruption to business while the county is at COVID-19 Level 3, or above, restrictions and any change must be implemented on this basis.
Fingal County Council would like to thank all those who facilitated the pilot programme, which was carried out under Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act, and those who made observations and submissions.
It is the intention of Fingal County Council to go out to public consultation next year on two options – full pedestrianisation or pedestrianisation for the summer season with a one-way system at other times.