Surveys have revealed considerable differences of opinion over the best long-term traffic solution for the city of Kilkenny, ranging from one-way systems, a two-way return, and even pedestrianization of the High Street.
Divergence has emerged between city center retailers and the wider community over the merits of maintaining the current system, a council inquiry suggests. It follows an earlier Kilkenny Chamber survey which showed a majority of retailers were unhappy with the system as it stands.
The council’s survey considered the views of businesses and the general public, with over 100 businesses responding and over 1,000 responses from the community. In the community questionnaire, 66% of respondents agreed that the new system had made social distancing easier, with a similar number saying they felt safe visiting the city.
Almost 67% agreed that in the long term they would like to see some form of one-way or pedestrianization to facilitate more comfortable pedestrian circulation in the city centre, with 66% saying they felt the current system should remain in place until a permanent solution is found. replaces it.
Just under 34% of businesses agreed they would like the current temporary one-way system to remain to facilitate social distancing as concerns persist over Covid transmission. This compares to 65% agreement with responses from the wider community.
Meanwhile, just under 48% of businesses agreed they would like to see additional pedestrianization where possible, compared to 68% of respondents from the wider community.
The one-way system will remain in place for the time being after a notice of motion at this month’s council meeting failed to win support.
Earlier, at the Kilkenny City Municipal District meeting in December, members agreed that while it may not work as a long-term traffic management solution, the system continues to improve. prove effective in fulfilling its purpose as a measure to facilitate social distancing and keep people safe.
A number of changes were made to the scheme in December in terms of traffic lights to reduce congestion at key junctions. The council indicates that further improvements could be implemented if the current system were to become permanent.