Bishop Street outdoor seating in Derry: 'Piecemeal' approach 'causing chaos'
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The latest phase of the pilot project was completed back in August, and was first announced in March 2021 by then Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon as part of a wider post-Covid Recovery scheme to aid businesses and improve pedestrian facilities in conjunction with Derry City & Strabane District Council. It was also part funded by the Department for Communities.
Previous completed projects included parklets and seating areas at Waterloo Place, along the quay in Derry and at the Diamond in Derry.
Foyle MLA Mr Durkan has now written to Ms Mallon’s successor, current Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd to voice concerns about the current issues at Bishop Street.
“It's clear that outdoor seating and inconsiderate parking in the area is causing issues. Evidently, the detail of this pilot scheme needs ironed out as it has severely impacted traffic flow in the area. I hope the Minister can reach a solution that will be workable for all road users.”
Mr Durkan added: “I'm in favour of promoting a café culture and the vibrancy that can bring to an area but rolling out piecemeal pilot projects, without full analysis of the impact on traffic and on businesses doesn't exactly sell the benefits to the wider public.
“I'll continue to work to ensure the steps proposed by the Minister in response to my concerns, are implemented.”
As it stands the temporary pilot is in place for an initial trial period of 18 months and forms part of the projects initially launched and consulted on by Derry City and Strabane District Council in 2021 under its Streetlife & Vibrant Places Strategy.
Derry & Strabane Council said back in August that “while the works has seen a small number of on-street parking spaces being made temporarily unavailable, the public are reminded there are still in the region of 450 off-street and on street car parking spaces for use in the local vicinity”.