A new Public Realm and Regeneration Plan for Kells Town Centre was recently open to feedback from Meath County Council
Meath County Council appointed BDP to prepare the Public Realm and Regeneration Plan for Kells. The plan will address the issues which are viewed as blockages to the redevelopment and regeneration of the town centre. Its objective will be to set out a clear strategy and overall vision for the public realm in the town centre, focused on the enhancement of the social, economic and environmental assets of Kells. For more information see here.
Below you can view our submission.
Submission from Navan Cycling Initiative
We are emailing in relation to the ongoing Kells Public Realm and Regeneration Plan Strategy. Navan Cycling Initiative is a community-based group that aims to make cycling in Meath safe, enjoyable, and popular.
Kells, as a historic, medieval town, has great potential to revitalise the town centre to make the most of the heritage and cultural significance in the area. At present, the town centre of Kells is a hostile, urban environment, dominated by vehicular traffic and lacking public spaces and a core town centre. Navan Cycling Initiative, who have members in the Kells district, welcome the opportunity to provide feedback on the Public Realm and Regeneration Plan Strategy for Kells.
Public and civic spaces
There is potential to reclaim a number of spaces and areas throughout the town for use such as public plazas, civic spaces, pedestrianised areas or small green parks.
In particular, the car parking area on the junction of the Farrell/Bective Street could be removed for a public space. A redesign of the junction at the R164/Maudlin Street, with narrowing of the road carriageways and the removal of the right turning lanes, would allow for the creation of a new public space.
Pedestrianisation should be considered, where appropriate, especially on smaller streets or laneways such as the area around Cross Street/Market Street. Pedestrianisation is proven to have many advantages, such as improving the public realm and making an area more physically attractive, as well as providing a boost to local businesses and improving the local economy. Case study evidence has shown that improvements to public spaces like pedestrianisation can increase footfall and trading by up to 40%.
At present, there is no cycling infrastructure in Kells, with the exception of outdated cycle lanes on the R147 near Eureka Secondary School, which end abruptly before you reach the town centre. To encourage more people to make the move to sustainable transport and reduce car dependency, better cycling and walking infrastructure is needed.
Recently, the National Transport Authority published the new Greater Dublin Area (GDA) Transport Strategy, which includes a new Kells Cycle Network map, which you can see below.
The inclusion of cycling infrastructure is provided on the R147, Headfort Road, Maudlin Street, Bective Street, the Cavan Road and Climber Hall, all of which fall within the study area of the Public Realm and Regeneration Plan. We would like to see the implementation of these cycle routes included in the plan, which is in line with the project objectives.
It should also be noted the GDA Transport Strategy also highlights the old Navan to Kells Railway Line as a potential future greenway. With new greenways currently under way in Navan which will soon link to Drogheda, Kingscourt, Trim and the Royal Canal, there is great potential for Kells to join this regional network by progressing this greenway. This would open up Kells to a whole new area of tourism and make it a must visit town.
Should you require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing the Public Realm and Regeneration Plan Strategy for Kells in the future.
Navan Cycling Initiative