The Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber wishes to make the following observations relating to the Traffic Management Proposal – Main St., Dungarvan – Outdoor Seating Arrangements.
The Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber represents businesses who have different needs in the town centre and on this particular street. Bearing this in mind, all businesses have one common desire, which is around the need for footfall and a vibrant and attractive place in which to do business.
Offering a blend of service, retail, and hospitality has been cited by the D&WW Chamber in many submissions to various development plans as essential to the sustainability of the town.
Giving greater preference to one sector over another can lead to an imbalance and skew the offering.
The D&WW Chamber would like that all sectors be considered for any changes to traffic management, layout, or development planning.
The D&WW Chamber sees that access is most important to retail, service, and hospitality.
- Access for deliveries
- Access for customers
- Access for emergency services
Compromise is essential as this could become a divisive issue if it is to be managed appropriately and all business needs considered.
The elimination of 8 spaces on Main Street is a major concern to retailing business in that area.
The D&WW Chamber suggests the following compromise so all businesses can be accommodated:
Loading Bay Proposition
Loading – The current loading bay operational during the hours midnight to midday.
Set Down – Set Down for 15 mins max, in this bay from 12 noon to midnight – this is to allow click & collect / people to use the spaces for very quick jobs.
Scanlan’s Yard – High Value Parking – Offer at least 8 Set Down Bays
In the proposal it is mentioned that the loss of 8 parking spaces ‘can be accommodated in Scanlon’s Yard car park which is located centrally and within 190m of Main Street. Scanlon’s yard has a large parking capacity and incorporates a pedestrian access directly onto Main Street.’
The D&WW Chamber is suggesting that at least 8 parking spaces in Scanlan’s Yard, located at the pedestrian access to Main Street, be replaced as set down bays – again allowing a 15 min max stay so people can park and access Main Street to complete ‘quick jobs’ / click & collect functions.
Blending of Day & Night-time Economy – central ‘hospitality area’
If Dungarvan is to consider enhancing out night-time economy offering, then it needs to blend better with the daytime offering and not be kept separate.
With this in mind, is it worthwhile to consider central ‘hospitality areas’ on Main Street, perhaps two such zones on upper main street and one on lower Main Street so that those businesses requiring tables would use a central area (they all share responsibility for), which would look tidier than having hap hazard street furniture on different sides of the street and in different styles.
Shared consideration and investment could be given by all parties to create a welcoming and attractive space.
Communication – Business Liaison Officer
Having been deeply involved in the communications around the highly contentious Grattan Square redevelopment in 2016, the D&WW Chamber is aware that communication between parties is essential. So too is hearing the challenges each party has and trying to resolve same efficiently and effectively.
Without proper communication, proposals such as this can cause discourse and conflict among neighbours. Facilitation of communication and consultation is a necessity for a unified business community.
The Waterford Council employs a Business Liaison Officer, the D&WW Chamber is suggesting that this officer be deployed to communicate with, and work with businesses in this area, (and other areas) where changes to access and layout of their environment will have impacts on their business both positive and negative.
Parking Planning for the Long Term
At Town Center Management Meetings, the Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber has addressed the need to plan for more parking in Dungarvan. If we are to attract more people to live and work here, we must accommodate the need for parking.
In some cases, parking areas have been transformed into hospitality areas, bus parking bays and camper van sites, which all adds to the overall attraction of Dungarvan, however, we must at the very least replace the parking areas used for these purposes and plan for additional areas where the provision of parking can be offered. Either private or public.
Growing Trends – Set Down / Click & Collect Bays
Following our habits having to change during the Covid pandemic, many shops offer a click & collect service. Customers are now more inclined to order or organise their products online and then turn up, just for a quick collection.
Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber is requesting that more parking bays in Dungarvan be changed to ‘Set Down’/ ‘Click and Collect’ with a 15 min max stay.
This system operates extremely well outside Hallahan’s Pharmacy and is rarely abused. It has been essential to the pharmacy to have this availability of access to customers. Changing more ‘regular parking’ spaces into ‘click & collect ‘bays will demonstrate that Council is hearing what the businesses are requiring and offering workable solutions to the issues arising. The center of Grattan Square (Opposite Shalloe’s Newsagents) is another ideal area for such an offering.