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O'Connell street Photograph by John Kelly.

Public urged to have their say on pedestrianisation in Ennis

DIVIDED opinion on car-free streets in Ennis has prompted the local authority to carry out a first of its kind public survey.
The local authority is planning to give the public their say on the future of pedestrianisation in the county capital.
The Ennis Municipal District is urging people to get involved with the two-week survey which opens to the public this Friday.
Leonore O’Neill, senior executive officer Ennis Municipal District said, “We strongly encourage people to take part in this survey, this is a huge opportunity.
“We received hundreds of emails throughout the Covid-19 Mobility Plan about pedestrianisation from people of all walks of life.
“It is really important that we get as many responses to this survey as possible. This is the first time we have gone out and undertaken a full survey of pedestrianisation and the results will inform future decisions.
“This is people’s opportunity to have their say in shaping the future of their town.”
In preparation for the development of a Local Area Plan for Ennis there is a requirement on the local authority to undertake a Mobility Plan examining all modes of transport for the sustainable movement of people within Ennis and its environs.
Pedestrianisation forms a small element of the overall plan, however given the “dichotomy of opinions” expressed following the introduction of car-free streets during the pandemic, it was decided to undertake this new survey, she explained.
“We had a huge amount of feedback from the public, both in favour of pedestrianisation and against it,” said Ms O’Neill.
“There was such a broad range of opinions that we felt it was timely to engage with the wider public and ask them what their thoughts and opinions are and what they would like to see for the town into the future.”
Individual responses to the survey will be kept strictly confidential and the Council will be publishing the overall results.
“While not wishing to speculate on the outcome, Ms O’Neill did say that the results could mean decisions on pedestrianisation being made before the overall Mobility Plan for Ennis is complete – “if there is a very strong opinion either which way”.
The survey itself is confined purely to the issue of pedestrianisation in Ennis.
“We are asking people’s opinions as to whether they want it in full, in part or not at all.
“If they are in favour of it, what streets and what hours? What they would like to see? It’s incumbent on us to get that feedback from as broad a base as possible so that it can inform future decision making in the town.
“Pedestrianisation was introduced last year as an emergency response to Covid.
“The majority of those measures are now lifted and as promised we said we wouldn’t engage with the public around pedestrianisation until the Covid measures were lifted.
“We now feel it is very timely, when people can engage in the town in a traffic environment, that they can decide what they want for their town.”
The survey will be open from 9am on Friday, October 15, and will close at 5pm on Friday October 29. It can be completed online on Clare County Council’s consultation platform yoursay.clarecoco.ie/ennis-pedestrianisation or in paper format which will be available at all Clare branch libraries, Áras Contae an Chláir or can be downloaded on www.clarecoco.ie.
Prior to completing the survey, online applicants will be required to register on Clare County Council’s online engagement platform, enabling the individual to contribute to all future online consultations. This registration process will require an email address
Each individual will be limited to one response. Paper copies can be returned to any of the branch libraries or posted to Ennis Municipal District, Buttermarket Building, Drumbiggle, Ennis, Co. Clare, V95 RR72.

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