By Dan Walsh at Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council meeting
A two-way carriageway, two cycle lanes, new footpaths, landscaping, pedestrian crossings, a front of school zone, and much more, costing in the region of €2 million and likely to be entirely funded by Wexford County Council is under discussion for Esmonde Street, Gorey.
The plan was outlined in a presentation by Brian Galvin and Rory Curtis of Wexford County Council and today’s monthly meeting of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council. Cathaoirleach Cllr Donal Kenny presided.
There was a variety of opinions when it came to a general discussion amongst members but there was full support for a facelift for Esmonde Street.
Criticising the proposed bicycle lanes in opposite directions, Cllr Andrew Bolger said he found “it was illogical to ride a bike down a bicycle lane, dismount and carry the bike across to the other side of the street, mount up and continue the journey!”
Cllr Joe Sullivan said; “Esmonde Street is a brand created over a period of time” and he never experienced any extravagant traffic issues on Esmonde Street.” He felt a facelift was needed and believed that what the businesses and restaurants and people of Esmonde Street think of the plan should be a priority for Wexford County Council.
Cllr Anthony Donohoe believed that reducing car parking spaces by 16 wasn’t the best idea and he was opposed to two cycle lanes – he felt one was enough!
However, Mr Galvin said it was best practice and more user friendly to favour walking and cycling and this would be reflected in the Gorey Local Area Plan.
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin was concerned about “greenway trees” facing removal while Cllr Pip Breen expressed concerns about replacing “old granite” with concrete. Cllr Mary Farrell had some comments to make about disabled parking spaces, but she also acknowledged that “Esmonde Street is a valuable brand.” Cllr Willie Kavanagh also contributed.
Cllr Diarmuid Devereux recalled that it is five and a half years since the business community approached the CEO (Tom Enright) to do something about Esmonde Street. He said there were some excellent proposals, and he would be fighting for you (the people of Esmonde Street) to spend that €2 million.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Donal Kenny said there were “more good, than negatives” in the proposals suggested. It was claimed that all funding would be coming from Wexford County Council although some grant schemes could be explored.
Cllr Kenny concluded that it would be important to push on with the detail design!