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Greens want footpaths expanded to keep up social distancing

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarylive.ie

Post Office on Liberty Square Thurles must not be moved from the Town Centre - Cahill 

Greens want more pedestrianisation in town centres such as Thurles

"Our towns need to become destinations in themselves,where people will travel to and spend time and money” - Rob O'Donnell.

The Tipperary Green Party is calling on Tipperary County Council to explore the possible pedestrianisation and expansion of footpaths to aid in social distancing in the coming months and support business in their re-opening.


This follows similar calls by the Green Party Spokesperson for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Steven Matthew TD last week, who stated “Whenever businesses are able to begin to reopen, they will need as much support as possible to adapt to social distancing measures which will likely be a part of our lives till at least the end of the summer. We need to start examining possible solutions and one could be to make some streets in towns and cities across the country car-free during business hours this summer. This will allow sufficient access for pedestrians and cyclists but also give business owners and patrons enough space to operate safely. Any changes in the planning process would require significant examination of accessibility and safety but it is possible”


Rob O’Donnell, spokesperson for the Tipperary Greens noted that parts of Main Street in Tipperary Town, O’Connell Street in Clonmel and the Square in Cahir would be ideal places for this, allowing cafes, restaurants and pubs to re-open and facilitate social distancing.


“We have seen in the past weeks a dramatic reduction in traffic in our towns. While this will return post-COVID, it’s important we reflect on what we want our town centres to become. A choked-up, polluted, main road straddled by shops is not what we should be aiming for - our towns need to become destinations in themselves,where people will travel to and spend time and money” Mr. O’Donnell noted. “Àir pollution in our town centres is dangerously high - as noted by a March4Tipp study on Tipperary Town last year. We need to make our towns more liveable and accessible for all, and support businesses by bringing in footfall through initiatives like this”.


The Tipperary Greens are reaching out to Tipperary County Council on this issue, and wish for business owners and residents to also input on any possible decisions being made.