Just 35 submissions were made to Westmeath County Council regarding the proposed Mullingar Town Urban Regeneration Project.
Published in June, the plan is to see €3m spent on enhancement of the town centre, including changes to traffic movement, and creation of three “civic areas”.
Friday September 1 was the closing date for submissions, and it had been anticipated that the number of submissions would have been greater given the level of comment online when details of what was planned were made public.
One of the submissions lodged is that representing the views of the Dominick Street Traders.
A senior official with Westmeath County Council stated that the submissions are currently being examined, and responses are being prepared to the points raised.
“We are aiming to have it ready to go before a full council meeting in October,” the official stated.
He added that many of the points related to the same aspects of the plan – in particular, the closure of Martin’s Lane to traffic, and concerns over the loss of a number if on-street parking spaces.
Key elements of the plan drawn up by a firm of consultants on behalf of Westmeath County Council include the reversal of the traffic flow in Dominick Place (beside Dolan’s Pub), and the introduction of traffic lights between Castle Street and Pearse Street and that vehicles emerging from Church Avenue be allowed make a right turn, something currently not possible.
In addition, an “Intelligent traffic light system” is proposed to improve right turns from Austin Friars Street to Millmount.
Among the aims of the plan are enhancement of the three town centre civic areas at Dominick Square, Market Square, Castle St/Pearse St Junction and to encourage motorists to use the ring road rather than travel through the town centre,
The plan is the work of RPS Consulting Engineers, and during the initial presentation to councillors, an expected start date of January 2018 was given, with the aim of having the work completed by summer 2018.
The consultants were specifically asked to look at the creation of a public space at the Pearse Street-Castle Street junction; a public space at Market Square – including Mount street enhancement; enhancement of Dominick Square; and of considering the Blackhall Street linkages to car parks.
Councillors were told the work was commissioned with a view to promoting quality in the public spaces and routes by ensuring they are attractive, safe, uncluttered and work effectively for all in society.