Increased pedestrian safety and the improvement of pedestrian mobility are the main advantage of proposed works for Westport, according to town manager Martin Keating.
Street and footpath improvement works for James Street and raised pedestrian junctions at the Mall – Newport Road / James Street and The Mall to Bridge Street and Castlebar Street were recommended to be approved at the town council’s Thursday night meeting.
As part of the works a zebra crossing is planned for James Street which will slow car movements on the street, however the town manager said that bearing in mind Westport is a heritage town the crossing will be done in an aesthetic fashion.
The town manager said that the large crossing on Bridge Street will eventually become a pedestrian crossing while the rest will remain as courtesy crossings.
There are plans that traffic coming from Castlebar Street will not be able to go into two lanes across the Mall, but instead will filter into one lane, which again will slow down traffic and impact on pedestrian movements. A trial period for this one lane of traffic will be carried out in the next couple of weeks, with the placement of some cones, and if there are any issues with this then it will not proceed.
The part 8 was proposed by Councillor Michael McLaughlin and seconded by Cllr Martin Keane. Works are to commence before summer.
Mr Keating also updated councillors about the town’s progress with Smarter Travel. He said that a meeting was recently held with the Department of Transport who were impressed with Westport’s progress. The town manager said that councillors might lead by example and look at how they travel to the council’s monthly meetings.
Town engineer Pat Corcoran told the meeting that work at the Octagon is almost complete and works at the Quay are hoped to start in September. The Greenway at the rear of Lidl to Pairc na Coille is ready to be surfaced and it is hoped that it will open before Easter. Lights and surfacing has been complete on the Greenway at Rice College. There is also discussions with the NRA about a crossing on the N5.
Altogether, €2 million is being spent in Westport in the next two years for Smarter Travel and also for the town’s roadwork programme.