Submission on Part 8 Nenagh Historic and Cultural Quarter - Thomas Bibby

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on this scheme, which is made in a personal capacity. The scope of this submission is limited to the footpath upgrades proposed as part of this scheme.

The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) is the principal design manual for urban roads and streets and is mandatory when providing new or modifying existing urban roads and streets within the 60 km/h urban speed limit zone.

DMURS states that the absolute minimum for footpath width is 1.8m, and that wider footpaths should be provided where pedestrian activity is higher (for example 3.0m for areas of moderate to high pedestrian activity.)

It is unacceptable that footpath widths of less than 1.0m are proposed on Emmet Place and Silver Street as part of this scheme, as is illustrated by the drawing extracts below:

Drawing of Emmet Place Nenagh showing proposed substandard footpath widths

Drawing of Silver Street, Nenagh showing proposed substandard footpath widths

This will result in an unsafe environment for users of the street, especially for people using wheelchairs, mobility aids and buggies.

There is no need for such substandard and unsafe footpath widths. This Part 8 scheme could easily be amended to reallocate road space away from vehicles to provide footpath widths that are safe and conform to the relevant design standards. 

No DMURS quality audit was published for either this Part 8 scheme or the earlier Section 38 scheme introducing a two-lane one-way system for motorised traffic. It should be noted that such an audit is mandated for works on public roads (ref: Department of Transport National (Infrastructure) Guidelines and Standards Group, Circular 2 of 2022 and Circular 3 of 2022).

It is also unfortunate that in the public consultation report for the Section 38 scheme it was noted that road space reallocation would be considered as part of this public realm scheme. I cannot see any places where this reallocation of space has been made, or even where it was considered. The result of the two schemes, if implemented, will be streets dominated by the private car, and unsafe for other users of the street.

Nenagh deserves better than two lanes for cars and footpaths narrower than one metre, where you will struggle to walk side by side. This is contrary to DMURS, the national Sustainable Mobility Policy, and the Tipperary County Development Plan, which states “10G: Through Council own development, such as public realm upgrading and regeneration programmes, seek to encourage the following principles; (a) Implement improvements to facilitate pedestrians and cyclists and to improve access for people with mobility needs”.