Part of Limerick's O'Connell St to be pedestrianised

Limerick City Council is planning to pedestrianise part of O'Connell Street in the heart of Limerick city centre.

Director of transport with the local authority Pat Dromey confirmed that plans are underway for the pedestrianisation of O'Connell Street from the junction at William Street as far as Roches Street.

This new plans follow the recent pedestrianisation in the city centre of Bedford Row and part of Thomas Street, which was completed last month.

The remainder of Thomas Street, along with Little Catherine Street, is due to be completed by mid-June.

Plans for the pedestrianisation of a section of O'Connell Street will be put on public display in the coming weeks, according to the council.

"There will be extensive consultation with all the stakeholders before we advance the planning process and we are hopeful that work on the pedestrianisation of O'Connell Street will start in the autumn," revealed Mr Dromey.

"But an integral part of pedestrianising O'Connell Street is the proposed inner orbital route of the city that will take the diverted traffic, and this will also be put on public display in the new year," he added.

Thomas Street businesswoman Siobhan Clifford, who owns the Exit shop, said that traders are delighted with the first phase of pedestrianisation of the street, which finished on December 8, 2006.

"It looks fabulous and there has definitely been a pick-up in trade since the works finished. We are getting more passing trade as people come back into the street," said Ms Clifford.

"The disruption throughout the year was difficult on traders but the end result is definitely worth it. No pain, no gain! I am delighted to hear that parts of O'Connell Street are going to be pedestrianised because it will complement the work done in Thomas Street and Bedford Row."

The Limerick Co-ordination Office (LCO) acted as an intermediary for the past year among Thomas Street and Bedford Row businesses, consultants and the city council.

LCO city-centre co-ordinator Andrew Mawhinney said: "Limerick City Council is to be complimented on its pedestrianisation programme.

"Already, we have seen private investment stimulated by this work and the public space can be used for a variety of purposes," he said.

Mr Mawhinney also complimented businesses in Bedford Row and Thomas Street for their patience and understanding during the construction work.

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