Group wants Malahide reopened to traffic as Covid restrictions lifted

Council says it has secured funding for permanent pedestrianisation of New Street

Minister for Transport  Eamon Ryan: traffic ban had been ‘transformative’ for the town. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan: traffic ban had been ‘transformative’ for the town. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

A business and residents’ group in Malahide is calling on Fingal County Council to allow traffic back on the north Dublin town’s pedestrianised street, following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

However, the council said it was “committed to the permanent pedestrianisation of New Street” and had secured funding for the project through the National Transport Authority (NTA) active travel programme, announced on Monday by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

In June 2020 the council temporarily banned traffic from New Street to facilitate outdoor dining and provide more room for pedestrians. The ban was lifted the following September but reinstated last summer.

The Save Malahide Village campaign said the council would be “acting in bad faith” if it retained the traffic ban.

“Fingal County Council insisted the street was closed to traffic on public health grounds as they believed that additional space for social distancing was needed in the village centre, ignoring the very real concerns expressed by many businesses and residents living on the street and the range of public space already available to pedestrians in the area. With the lifting of restrictions the basis for the closure no longer exists,” campaign spokeswoman Margaret Donnellan said.

The council said the permanent pedestrianisation scheme for the street would go through the planning process and it had secured €500,000 in NTA funding towards the development of these plans.

Mr Ryan said while decisions in relation to pedestrianisation were a matter for the council, the project had been “transformative for the better in Malahide.”