Councillor questions why so much spent on Killarney Town Centre Mobility Plan

A councillor has questioned why so much more money was spent in Killarney than other parts of the county on the Town Centre Mobility Plans.

They were introduced to make towns and villages safer as businesses re-opened following COVID-19 restrictions.

In many areas, on street car parking was removed to create wider footpaths for pedestrians.

In response to a question from Cllr Jackie Healy-Rae, Kerry County Council said it spent €238,000 in the county on the Safe Streets Town Centre Mobility Plans, two-thirds of that went on Killarney.

These Town Centre Mobility Plans aim to ensure social distancing can be maintained, while businesses resume trading.

Following a question from Cllr Jackie Healy-Rae, Kerry County Council revealed it spent €238,000 (€238,324.10) on these plans.

Of this, €149,500 (€149.478.75) or close to two-thirds was in the Killarney Municipal District.

The next highest amount was in the Listowel MD at over €23,000 (€23,673.69); in the Kenmare MD it was over €22,000 (€22,260.76); close to €22,000 (€21,760.89) was spent in the Castleisland Corca Dhuibhne MD; while in the Tralee MD over €21,000 (€21,150.01) went on the programme.

The National Transport Authority provided grant assistance to Kerry County Council, covering all these costs.

Cllr Healy-Rae asked why so much more was spent on Killarney, and if the changes are permanent, questioning why widened paths were paved instead of bollards being used.

Director of Services Charlie O’Sullivan said Tralee has a lot of wider footpaths where social distancing could be achieved, but that’s not the case in Killarney.

He said temporary additional measures were needed due to the large footfall, to ensure social distancing and so that people felt comfortable.

Mr O’Sullivan added a review of the plans is currently underway.