'Varied' response from Kilkenny businesses to High Street temporary pedestrianisation - Chamber

The street will again close to vehicle traffic for several hours on Friday and Saturday to facilitate arts festival events

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL

Musicians from the Irish Chamber Orchestra playing a surprise pop-up concert under the arches of the historic Tholsel on Kilkenny’s High Street for the Kilkenny Arts Festival last weekend

Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce has described as ‘varied’ the response from local businesses to last weekend’s temporary pedestrianisation of High Street.

From 11am to 4pm last Saturday and Sunday, the city centre street was closed to vehicular traffic. The same closures — between 11am and 4pm — will apply again this Friday and Saturday. The council says the closures are to facilitate a range of arts festival events.

However, the response to last weekend was a mixed one. Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce said it had been working closely with both retail members and non-members who were affected.

"The Chamber has been in contact with over 20 businesses and the response to the closure was widely varied, with many having experience gains on the previous year and others experiencing losses,” said a statement from the Chamber.

READ MORE: CALLS TO PEDESTRIANISE HIGH STREET DURING FESTIVALS

The group, which represents over 250 member businesses across Kilkenny City and County, says it has communicated feedback to the council, including the need for better traffic management measures, and clear information and signage for pedestrians. It also says that clear, adequate, and ongoing consultation is imperative.

“On a long term basis, the Chamber has sought more robust engagement between the retail traders and the council executive to ensure businesses have sufficient input in discussions involving an upcoming traffic management plan that is set to be undertaken this autumn,” said the statement.

"In a further move to support businesses in the city, the Chamber alongside Local Enterprise Office are spearheading a range of support events in the coming months specifically for their retail members and look forward to announcing these initiatives shortly."