Traders will have to endure pain before the gain. Bridge Street traders welcome work on street but worry about short-term effect on businesses

The news that Bridge Street is set to close for four months to facilitate the St. Nicholas Quarter regeneration works has been largely welcomed but some traders have expressed concerns about the effects the closure will have on their businesses.
Bridge St will close from 8am Monday 12th August until 5pm Friday December 6th. The road will close from its junction with Patrick Street to its junction with the Castletown Road.

Joanne Lavelle from Michael Lavelle Estate Agents in Bridge Street is also part of the Bridge Street and St Nicholas Quarter Traders Group and has been campaigning for years to have the street involved in regeneration works that have seen Clanbrassil Street and Church Street receive makeovers in recent years.

The group were left bitterly disappointed in 2018 when they missed out on funding under Project Ireland 2014 and had to watch on as Clanbrassil Street and the St Nicholas Quarter were upgraded while Bridge Street and Linenhall Street remained untouched. Now however, work is finally due to start in Bridge Street and according to Joanne this can only be described as great news.

“It is good news obviously and very much needed as this part of town has been ignored for decades. The condition of the street is not good at all and regeneration works are essential. It’s a narrow street so unfortunately that means it will potentially be more disruptive than it was on Clanbrassil Street when that street was getting upgraded.

“There are going to be disruptions and traders down here in Bridge Street will be affected so we are calling on the contractors to work with businesses and keep us informed with progress reports and weekly meetings. This is going to be a case of short term pain for long term gain and we are going to have to put up with whatever disruptions are coming our way,” stated Joanne.

“These works are not just going to affect Bridge St, they will affect traders al over town. Remember Linenhall St. feeds the entire high street of traffic so there is going to be gridlock in parts of town which is going to be frustrating for lots of people. But as I said these works are something we’ve been campaigning for for years and when it is done it will bring a whole new spark to this part of town. There is so much potential down here and now we have a chance to finally unlock it.

“But again I would ask that the council keep in touch with us traders and keep us in the loop as the next few months are going to be frustrating and hard for businesses down this end of town,” added Joanne.

Sheila Meehan, who owns and runs the popular Northend Bar on Bridge Street with her husband Paul also welcomed the news that work was due to begin but expressed concerns over the short term effects for the couples business.

“Obviously I am delighted that this is finally going to happen and it is long overdue but with that delight comes anxiety over what effect this will have on our business. The street will be closed for four months which will have a huge effect on our off sales in the early evening. We would have regular customers who would generally park up outside the pub and buy from the off license but we are going to miss all that and people will find other places in the meantime. With regards to deliveries of kegs and stock I have no idea what is going to happen. I assume some sort of arrangement will be made to assist us but nobody has been in touch with us yet so I don’t know what will happen there. It’s going to be tough and we are going to have challenges but again I will say that we both know that this is a good thing for the area and of course we welcome it.
It was a similar story for the owner of Wiltons Takeaway on Bridge St who welcomed the news while expressing concerns for the hit her business would take over the next few months.

“It’s going to be very difficult. We are going to lose customers. The road being closed will mean it will be more difficult for our customers to get to us as they will have to park on a different street and walk over to Bridge St. People like convenience and I would guess many will go elsewhere. We were not informed that this was happening and I only read it on facebook last week at the same time as everybody else. I know that work on the street is needed but that doesn’t stop us worrying about the effects it will have on our business over the next few months,” she stated.

A statement from Louth County Council laid out the objectives of the upcoming works while ensuring that a liason officer will soon be appointed to meet with all residents and businesses affected in the area.
St Nicholas Quarter Regeneration Scheme seeks to continue the positive work delivered on Clanbrassil street and deliver on the following objectives:

• To enhance the pedestrian and cycling experience
• To reduce the dominance4 of vehicles
• Realignment and resurfacing of carriageway
• Create more crossing points to improve pedestrian safety
• Rationalise parking
• Introduce more street trees and greening of the area

Glas Civil Engineering Ltd are the appointed contractor and a Liaison Officer will soon be appointed by them to meet with all residents and businesses affected in the area and details will be circulated. It is intended that there will be ongoing meetings with the community to ensure that they are fully informed of the phased works and accommodated as feasible during the road closure.
It is intended to accommodate deliveries and church events through a manned road closure to manage vehicle movements during working hours and accommodation provision will be in place outside those hours.

Louth County Council hosted a public information event in November 2023, and a number of engagement meetings were held to provide information on the phasing of the works.

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.