The scheme is part of the wider plans to enhance city centre infrastructure post-Covid 19 and is being carried out by the Department in collaboration with Derry City and Strabane District Council and the City Centre Initiative.
The new traffic management system will allow traffic to flow from Upper Carlisle Road along Ferryquay Street towards the Diamond, creating more space and greater ease of movement for pedestrians using this busy street.
The project will also involve the temporary reallocation of on-street parking spaces at the Diamond outside Austin’s, and the installation of seating and planters to create a more user friendly environment and public space in the heart of the Walled City.
The works are part of a two-phased regeneration strategy aimed at supporting local businesses and city centre visitors, as they adapt to a changing retail and social environment following the pandemic.
The Second Phase of the work will see the installation of a number of temporary ‘parklets’ on designated on-street car parking spaces to facilitate pavement extensions.
These will safely accommodate outdoor trading for participating cafes along a section of Bishop Street, supporting businesses in the area as they embark on the path to successful recovery.
This second phase is expected to be completed by August.
The Department and Council have been working together in close communication with city centre partners and the local business community to identify ways of revitalising the city centre by developing a safer and more accessible streetscape which will meet the needs of everyone.
These particular infrastructural improvements, which affect mainly the upper Walled City area, are expected to boost footfall and commercial activity by creating a more vibrant and welcoming city centre, with plenty of open space for trade, entertainment and leisure.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I announced these plans back in March and am pleased to see they are now ready to commence with the support of local businesses.
“We are all learning to adapt in these changing times and collaborative projects such as this are helping transform our public spaces into areas where we can move around, relax and socialise with friends in a safe environment.
“I wish to thank all local businesses for their co-operation while the work is being progressed and I hope they will now reap the benefits as we emerge from the Covid pandemic and look forward to recovery.
“I would also appeal to road users to be patient, follow all temporary traffic signs and be alert to increased number of pedestrians while the work is being completed and as they get used to the new one way system.
“I look forward to returning to Derry soon to see the works completed.”
Welcoming the works, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Cllr Brian Tierney, said:
“I am delighted to see this work getting underway and to see Council and its partners making the infrastructural changes that will open up public areas making them more adaptable for a range of activities.
“Over the summer months there will be an exciting programme of animation aimed at drawing visitors to the city centre, where they can be accommodated safely in the newly configured space.
“There will also be opportunities for vendors to trade outdoors, bringing more life and energy back to the streets, and creating a safe and attractive place to shop, dine and socialise in a safely distanced way.”
Jim Roddy, City Centre Manager and Chief Executive of City Centre Initiative added:
“I would like to thank all the stakeholders who have helped bring this project to fruition and we really hope that it works for all our city centre users and businesses in these areas, as they commence trading in the aftermath of the recent prolonged lockdown.”
Work has been scheduled to minimise disruption however roads user should be prepared for some delays while the work is carried out.
The scheme is expected to be completed by Friday, June 18.
You can find out more about the plans at https://www.derrystrabane.com/Business/Recovery/Regeneration(external link opens in a new window / tab)Tags: