High Street in Kilkenny, before the temporary one-way system was put in place
Steps taken by Kilkenny County Council to make social distancing easier in the city centre are an overwhelming success, according to surveys carried out in the city since the one-way system was implemented in June.
72% of people agreed social distancing is now easier, when members of the public were asked for their opinion at the end of August.
The same group included 67% of people who said they want the measures retained.
At last week’s meeting of Kilkenny City municipal district the results of three separate surveys were discussed - two taken by the County Council, of the business community in the city centre and members of the public, and the third by Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.
Director of Services Tim Butler told councillors, however, that the response from the business community was not as positive, but taking the responses to all three surveys, there is a favourable reaction to the measures.
There were 423 responses from members of the public, but only 113 responses from businesses. Mr Butler said this may have been because the Chamber survey had been taken up a short time before.
A decision on the future of the social distancing measures in the city centre will be made at a future meeting of the municipal district committee. A review of the system was originally to take place after six weeks, but that has now been put back to allow councillors study the results of the surveys.
Mr Butler said they were of the view it was working well, but it would be unfair to ask councillors to make a decision when they had just been presented with the survey information.
District Chairman, Cllr John Coonan, welcomed the genuine support for the system and the efforts made to ease social distancing in “these Covid times.”
Cllr Maria Dollard said implementing the one-way system “was a very brave thing” to do in the middle of a pandemic.
There was praise for the work of area engineer Ian Gardner, who oversaw the implementation, spent many hours observing the traffic flow and made adjustments to traffic light sequences at the Parade, Irishtown and Parliament Streets to smooth the flow of traffic.
Cllr Brett said Mr Gardner “did an extraordinary job.”
City area councillors agreed to review the social distancing system again at their October meeting.