Just a 'handful' of comments from public on traffic plan
Only a handful of public submissions have been received by Wexford District Council on traffic direction changes around the town during a trial period over the past six weeks.
The revised traffic plan will be reviewed by councillors in December, before a final draft goes to official public consultation.
Independent councillor Leonard Kelly asked for an update on the new arrangements, saying it is an ongoing issue in the town and he is receiving daily enquiries about it.
Cllr. Kelly asked when the results of public submissions on the trial period will be made available.
Ms. Laffan said a 'handful' of email submissions were received during the trial period.
'You have 20,000 people living in Wexford with about another 30,000 using the town and you get six responses', said Director of Services, Tony Larkin, adding that he would hate the whole focus to be based on those six.
Ms. Laffan said draft byelaws will have to be drawn up and passed before any changes can be officially implemented.
She said the proposed draft bye-laws will be presented at the December meeting and following the approval of members, will go out to public consultation.
'We will be coming back to you following that process. The consultation period will be publicised in the media and people can make written submissions', she said.
She said the decision to block traffic from Lower Rowe Street into Church Lane during daytime hours was working extremely well and has improved the flow of traffic through Key West.
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. George Lawlor asked if councillors could decide not to include something in the byelaws if they felt it hadn't worked and was told they could.
Fine Gael councillor John Hegarty said the traffic situation in town is getting worse and is a big issue for people. A contributory factor is the increase in the number of cars but that seems to have been lumped in with the idea that the Council is to blame.
'If we ask the public for their views then we should take what they say seriously', he said.
Cllr. Kelly if the trial changes would stay in force for Christmas and was informed by Ms. Laffan that they would, unless the members had a different view at the next meeting.
Mr. Larkin said he would have the view that it might not be a good idea to 'destabilise the situation' just before Christmas, with the consultation period running into the New Year.
Mr. Larkin said the deadline for submissions on the trial is November 29 but there will be another consultation process on the draft byelaws.
Ms. Laffan told Independent councillor David Hynes that a proposal to remove the right turn from Henrietta Street onto the quay, has not yet been implemented. 'There is a lot of concern about that', said Cllr. Hynes.
Responding to Labour councillor Maura Bell about a promised increase in disabled spaces in the the north end, to compensate for the removal of existing spaces in the area, Ms. Laffan said there are two new spaces in Selskar Street, two in Common Quay Street and another two on the way in Allen Street car park and South Main Street.