Seaside Dublin village to be partly pedestrianised

Malahide 10-week pilot initiative aims to encourage social distancing

 Malahide village in Co Dublin is to be partially pedestrianised. File  photograph: Eric Luke /The Irish Times

Malahide village in Co Dublin is to be partially pedestrianised. File photograph: Eric Luke /The Irish Times

 

New Street in Malahide, Co Dublin is to become pedestrianised as part of a scheme aimed at making social distancing easier in the seaside town while giving it an “open air, European-style feel”.

Walk Bike Fingal is a 10-week pilot initiative which hopes to encourage and facilitate social distancing while allowing retailers, café and restaurant owners to expand their business onto the street.

Additional spaces for cars are being provided at Bridgefield Car Park at the entrance to Malahide Demesne where parking will be free for a two-hour period. The Council has also installed a number of “age friendly” parking spots in the town centre.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a significant drop in traffic in the north county Dublin town and a resurgence in walking and cycling across Fingal which has prompted the pedestrianisation scheme.

It has been backed by Malahide Chamber of Commerce, Malahide Community Forum and Malahide Tidy Towns.

Fingal County Council is also launching a street furniture initiative to facilitate the temporary placement of chairs and tables on footpaths in the area to allow for al fresco dining.

Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien said the plan would “transform many of our streets” while ensuring “people can adhere to social distancing guidelines while going about their lives in as safest a way possible”.

He stressed that the local community would “have to change the way we do things” in order to “ensure that Covid remains suppressed”.

Malahide Chamber of Commerce president Derek Fowler expressed the hope that the pedestrianisation of New Street would “ensure it becomes a destination point for residents and visitors to Malahide, and is anticipated that it will, as a result, bring business to the street and the area in general”.

Chief executive of Fingal County Council Ann Marie Farrelly said the “temporary changes to the public realm will create better outdoor space for the enjoyment of citizens and will also assist some of our local business to re-open in a safe way.”