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Temporary Covid-19 Town Centre Mobility Plan for Ennis

15 May 2020

Clare County Council, in consultation with a stakeholder group comprising representatives from businesses, the community, and the wider public sector, is endeavoring to support residents, the business community and all citizens to access the town safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Clare County Council sign

The Government has published its Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, comprising 5 phases to enable our country to reopen in a slow, phased way, commencing from 18th May, 2020. Notwithstanding any potential easing of restrictions, it is expected that 2 metre wide physical distancing will remain a requirement for the foreseeable future. Clare County Council in conjunction with its stakeholders is preparing a Mobility Plan for the town which will evolve in line with the Government Roadmap.

As restrictions are eased, the rate of the virus in the community will be constantly monitored by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the Government. Members of the public are reminded of the importance of complying with public health guidelines at all times.

Under Stage 1 of the temporary Covid-19 Ennis Town Centre Mobility Plan, traffic re-routing and other measures will come into effect in Ennis Town Centre from Wednesday, 20th May, 2020. This initial stage puts in place measures to ensure street space can be shared safely by pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and cars, in order to ensure physical distancing can be adhered to by those coming into the town centre. The plan incorporates traffic re-routing measures, amendments to delivery times and locations, and changes to car parking provision. The measures will apply Monday-Saturday.

Clare County Council is continuing to work with our stakeholders on the further refinement of the plan over the coming weeks and months. The plan is a living document and will be subject to regular review. Some of the key initial measures are listed below.

From Wednesday, 20th May, 2020

Traffic re-routing measures

Measures will apply from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Monday-Saturday) and will affect the following areas:

  • Abbey Street at the entrance to Abbey Street Carpark
  • Frances Street at the entrance to Abbey Street
  • O'Connell Street
  • Bank Place to the exit from Abbey Street Carpark
  • Salt House Lane and High Street
  • Cabey's Lane at Market Place
  • Lower Parnell Street from Carmody Street to Cabey's Lane
  • Woodquay can be accessed from the carpark side

Summerhill will be altered to a two-way traffic system,with access to River Lane from the river side and Fahy's Lane from Summerhill.

Deliveries

Deliveries will be able to access the restricted area from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and additional loading bays will be provided in Templegate car park and Abbey Street car park to assist unloading outside these hours.

Parking

To meet the 2m wide social distancing Government requirements, it is necessary to adjust existing parking and street layouts to provide additional width on Market Street, removing the parking on Bank Place from the AIB to the Post Office, adjusting the perpendicular parking on Woodquay from Parnell Street to the car park access road.

Traffic re-routing measures will also impact on the on-street car parking in those areas.

The Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Johnny Flynn, said: “This is about making the town safe for residents, staff and shoppers at this important phase of the loosening of some of the Government public health Covid-19 lockdown measures. Detailed planning has been carried out by the Council with the HSE and An Garda Síochána to ensure the town streets are as best as can be achieved in compliance with strict public health guidelines with regard to the essential tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – namely the availability of pedestrians to maintain 2m social distancing in public streets. 

“We all have stayed home as asked but now we are entering a phase when we can come together in a safe way to save local jobs in Ennis.” 

Carmel Kirby, Director of Services, Clare County Council, said: "Ennis Town Centre is characterised by narrow streetscapes with restrictive footpath widths on a number of streets. We are engaging with our stakeholders to plan how the street space can be shared safely by everyone while complying with the Government public health measures."

Allen Flynn, President, Ennis Chamber of Commerce, said: "The temporary Town Centre Plan for Ennis has been designed to meet social distancing and other mandatory Covid-19 requirements. To encourage people back into Ennis we need to ensure we are providing a safe place in which to visit, shop, dine and work. As part of Clare County Council's working group, Ennis Chamber of Commerce will continue to look for a balance between public health and safety and the requirements of our members as they seek to re-open their businesses in accordance with phased plans outlined in the Government Roadmap. We will continue to monitor and review the arrangements within the plan in light of future developments."

Clare County Council is notifying the public of the temporary new arrangements through its communications channels. All citizens accessing Ennis Town Centre are advised to carefully review the maps to familiarise themselves with the changes which will come into effect on 20th May, 2020.

Members of the public can contact Clare County Council Customer Services with queries at: customerservices@clarecoco.ie

Detailed maps

MDE-20-027-01B Ring Route

This shows the inner ring route around the town centre and the entry points with the proposed Covid-19 traffic routing. (This would be similar to the ring route used at Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann)

MDE-20-027-02B Covid 19 Traffic Routing

This shows the locations where measures were put in place to facilitate social separation as set out in the Government Covid-19 Guidelines.

MDE-20-027-03B Abbey Street Carpark Area

This shows the proposed layouts at Bank Place and Francis Street in more detail and the proposed additional loading bays at Abbey Street Carpark and Friars Walk Carparks.

MDE-20-027-04B Market Area

This shows the proposed adjustments to the parking at Market Street including the loading bay at Lower Market Street and necessity to compensate for the loss of disabled spaces lost in Cabey's Lane. The proposed two way system on Summerhill and the adjustments to parking at Woodquay.

MDE-20-027-05B Francis Street

This the proposed layout at Abbey Street, Francis Street with the auto track lines for delivery trucks to define the required alignments.

MDE-02-027-06B Francis Street

This is as per 05B with the autotrack removed. It shows the intended lines of flexible slim bollards that will be fixed to the road to channelize the lanes to prevent right turn from Abbey Street Carpark to Abbey Street.

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