Controversial Bishop Street parklet scheme to stay until at least 2024 - Derry Council confirms

The controversial Bishop Street parklet redesign will remain in situ until at least 2024, the Council has confirmed after local representatives backed scrapping an adjoining scheme.
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Over recent months, politicians have called for the redesign of Bishop Street Within to be re-examined, with SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan warning of traffic ‘chaos’ in the area.

At a Council committee meeting on Wednesday, local elected representatives endorsed scrapping the nearby pilot one-way system introduced along Ferryquay Street and upper Carlisle Road back in 2021.

This followed on from a survey which confirmed the temporary redesign here was deeply unpopular, and work is expected by the Department of Infrastructure to return the area to two way traffic flow over the coming weeks.

The Bishop Street parklet.The Bishop Street parklet.
The Bishop Street parklet.
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During the meeting, elected members also criticised the separate pilot scheme in the Diamond which saw some car parking spaces removed to facilitate seating and planters. After being told this scheme may be retained and enhanced, Sinn Féin Colr. Emma McGinley, who proposed scrapping the Ferryquay/ Carlisle scheme, said this was ‘the one corner of the Diamond where the sun doesn’t hit’.

A Derry and Strabane Council spokesperson told the Journal the potential for a proposed permanent scheme at the Austins quadrant ‘that would comprise of an extended level surface improving pedestrian connections between Bishop Street and Ferryquay Street’ with ‘quality design seating and planting’, and which includes potential works outside Richmond Chambers ‘is currently at proposed concept stage and will be subject to further consideration by Council in the coming months’.

“The Bishop Street parklet is a design-led approach completed in late summer 2022 as an initial 18-month trial. This proposal did not form part of the consultation process relating to the one-way temporary traffic arrangements along Upper Carlisle Road and Ferryquay Street and will be reviewed towards the end of the trial period,” the spokesperson added.