A new scheme to address traffic flow and parking in Market Square, Dungannon, has been submitted for planning approval.
While not responsible for traffic management or roads issues, development of the improvement project has been driven by Mid Ulster District Council in a bid to resolve problems which arose from the first phase of public realm works in the town in 2012 and which have been the subject of on-going complaints from traders and residents.
Among the proposed changes are alterations to the junction at Irish Street, a left turn only from Market Square onto Church Street, a change to the Give Way at the entrance from Thomas Street to assist with pedestrian safety, new and improved pedestrian access around and across the Square, wider parking bays for ease of customer parking, the addition of a footpath at the Square’s car park and additional car parking in the square when it is not hosting events.
Chair of the Council’s Development Committee, Councillor Dominic Molloy, has welcomed the progress on the much needed scheme revisions and also spoken of some of the frustrations experienced by local businesses in getting to this point:
“Market Square is at the heart of Dungannon’s trading centre and is also where Ranfurly House acts as the gateway to the heritage site, Hill of the O’Neill, so the importance of this scheme can’t be underestimated.
“We are very pleased to reach the point where we can now submit an application for what are relatively modest alterations to the Market Square area. The development of these design details has involved protracted and lengthy consultations with Transport NI and other statutory bodies. In bringing forward these design changes, it should be said that we have been constrained by a clear need not to jeopardise the funding put in place for the original scheme.
“This has undoubtedly been frustrating both for us as a Council and for the people of Dungannon who have been lobbying for improvements for some years.
“While the issues are not of our making, we have finally brokered an agreement which subject to planning approval will see work begin later this year”.
The Council’s Planning Committee will consider the application in due course. To view the scheme details, visit the NI Planning Portal at www.planningni.gov.uk (reference: LA09/2017/0684).