Major changes to traffic flow in Graignamanagh have been proposed in a draft Mobility Management Plan - including making some streets one-way.
The overall aim of the plan is to improve the Graig-Tinnahinch area for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and encourage lower carbon and healthier ways of getting around.
The draft plan was presented to members of the Callan Thomastown Municipal District Council last week and contains 45 proposals.
Among those 45 proposals are suggestions for traffic flow, footpaths and pedestrian crossings, bus stops and car parks.
As a draft plan members of the public will now be asked to study it and give their feedback.
MJ Walsh, Technical Director with Roadplan Consulting, said the River Barrow is a great asset to the town, but also severs the two areas of settlement.
Above: A map highlights some of the areas included in the draft plan.
The 2016 Census shows a bias towards car transport in the town, with just 31% of people walking or cycling around the town. The Census figures also revealed 50% of students get to school by car, with 23% travelling by bus. Only 2% of students cycled to school.
One of the issues raised by the study is the lack of delineation on the road over George Semple Bridge. This leads to road safety concerns and potential conflicts, Mr Walsh said. Following extensive consultation proposals for the bridge include traffic calming measures of a ramp on the Southern side, with a pedestrian crossing, to facilitate pedestrians at the end of the Barrow Way.
Even if plans for pedestrian bridges across the river are achieved, Mr Walsh said, there will always be a ‘desire line’ for pedestrians to walk over the main bridge from Tinnahinch into Graignamanagh.
On the Graig side of the bridge plans include upgrading the pedestrian crossing on Main Street to a controlled crossing and adding a new pedestrian crossing on the Quay.
Sensitive public lighting is proposed for the bridge, taking into account it is a Special Area of Conservation.
On the Graignamanagh quayside safety for pedestrians will be improved with the pedestrian crossings and improvements to the junction with Barrow Lane.
Above: A proposed plan for the George Semple Bridge
Wider Network and Streetscape
A number of streets are being proposed for ‘one-waying’ - including Barrow Lane one way Eastbound (uphill) and the North Quay one way from the bridge to that junction. Other proposals are to make Bray’s Lane one way from Main Street onto Convent Lane, and Convent Lane is proposed to become one way from its junction with Bray’s Lane in the direction of Chapel Street.
On the other side of the town, the draft plan proposed making Mill Road one way toward High Street, and Turf Market one way from High Street to Main Street.
There is also an aim to make footpaths 1.8metres wide where possible.
Suggested projects have been divided into immediate/ short term, medium term (two to three years) and long term (three to five years).
The delivery of these projects will depend on funding available to the local authority, and there is no problem bringing forward the long term measures if funding becomes available, Mr Walsh said.
He told councillors that a balance has to be struck between parking, driving, walking and other modes of transport.
Online public consultation will take place on the plan until September.
Chairman of the municipal district, Cllr Michael Doyle, noted that a huge body of work had been done and predicted a lot of money will have to be spent to get things right.
While it is never easy to get consensus in relation to roads and the way people use them, Cllr Doyle said he welcomed this draft plan.
“Graignamanagh is a hugely popular tourist area and these proposals will definitely benefit those that visit the area, and, more importantly for me, makes it safer for local residents, be it going to school, the shops or using local amenities. That is what this plan is about and it will deliver that.”
Cllr Doyle said he hopes people will now engage with the consultation process and that it goes smoothly.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.