What’s the Plan?
In 2021 the “Navan 2030” plans were updated to include the pedestrianisation of Trimgate Street Navan.
What do Shoppers Think?
An independent survey of shoppers in Navan, carried out by consultants on behalf of Meath County Council in July 2022, revealed the following:
80% visited Trimgate Street
54% travelled by car
87% of those said they had parked in other streets
7/10 said they would expect benefits from pedestrianisation
What do Businesses Think?
Chambers Ireland is the organisation connecting all chambers if commerce around Ireland. Here’s what they have to say:
How has Pedestrianisation worked in other locations?
“Overall, the results of the study show a higher or equal consumer spend of cyclists and pedestrians v cars”
TU Dublin was engaged by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to independently examine the impact and reaction to the changes they initiated during the pandemic. Their report found:
“There are high levels of support from businesses and the community for the temporary redesign and reallocation of road space along Blackrock Main Street and a strong desire to retain the public space gains in the future”
Here’s a selection of other pedestrianisation or public-realm improvements:
- Grafton Street in Dublin was ahead of the game in terms of pedestrianisation. In 2017 it was the 11th highest-ranked shopping street in Europe
- Princes Street in Cork was pedestrianised and reactions were positive “As chairs and tables were coming off trucks on Princes Street that first day three years ago, people just sat down. There was a huge response to it, and it’s developed to become nearly iconic in Cork,” said publican Paul Montgomery.”
- Malahide. “Malahide thrives because it is animated by visitors who come from far and wide to experience its scenic beauty,” said Mr Cuffe. “This scheme has great potential to enhance that lively atmosphere by providing a safe and pleasant village centre which can be freely explored by people of all ages.”
Infographics from ‘Walking and Cycling: the Economic Benefits, TFL’
- How much will it cost?
Meath County Council is currently finalising the Preliminary Design for the Proposed Scheme, in advance of a planned Part 8 planning process which is anticipated to commence early in the new year. As part of this process, a Preliminary Cost Estimate will be prepared. This cost estimate process, currently underway, uses market rates (e.g. recent relevant tender rates for similar works or activities where available) and is informed by estimates for inflation and risks from similar projects. The Preliminary Cost Estimate is to be prepared and finalised in advance of the Part 8 and submitted to the Approving Authority, the National Transport Authority, as part of the process for the Council to request funding for the project to proceed to the next stage.
- How much was the public consultation process engineer reports architects etc.?
The public consultation process has not yet commenced, and the materials are currently being prepared. A statutory planning process (Part VIII) is envisaged to commence early in the new year. As part of this process, a statutory public consultation will be held, which will include documents relating to the proposals being put on display, and members of the public and interested parties will be invited to make submissions at that stage.
- How much did the public consultation overrun?
As above, the public consultation process has not yet commenced, and the materials are currently being prepared.
- Who bidded for the work, how long will it take and will the firm carrying out the work be penalised for non completion on time etc
At this stage, the proposed scheme is only planned for a planning application early in the new year. Should the planning application be successful, the Council would need to seek the availability of further funding to progress with the scheme (if approved) to the next stage, which would be detailed design and a tender process for a contractor for the works. Following this, a tender process would be conducted which would involve advertising the tender process on E-Tenders (https://www.etenders.gov.ie/) and inviting tenders to be submitted. A definitive duration/timeline has not yet been determined for the works, however as pedestrian access and access for deliveries etc would need to be maintained to businesses and properties on Trimgate Street during the works, it could potentially be 12 months approximately.
- How much of our local property tax is funding this and is it good value for money, could it have been tendered to a cheaper alternative? Will it be with in budget.
As per above, the funding for the proposed scheme would be external to the Council’s own resources and at present it is envisaged that a funding application would be made to the National Transport Authority (currently funding the Navan 2030 works to date) for the delivery of the scheme should the planning application be successful. Should the scheme process, documentation will be required to be prepared in accordance with the Government Public Spending Code. All Irish public bodies are obliged to treat public funds with care, and to ensure that the best possible value for money is obtained whenever public money is being spent or invested. As part of the current process, a variety of options have been considered, including a “Do Nothing” scenario (i.e. cleaning the existing paving and leaving the street as it is). As with all projects, the Council shall make efforts to ensure as far as reasonably possible that the project (if progressed to that stage and funding is made available) would come in below the budget.