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Third time’s a charm

Newry city centre could see a third public realm scheme in 2014 – with the topping and tailing of Hill Street the likely option. In 2012 footpaths in Monaghan Street and the central area of  Hill Street (between Margaret and Marcus Squares) were overhauled as part of a £1.9m scheme. Later this year the Canal bank area from Dublin Bridge to Sugar Island will be transformed thanks to a £2.4m investment. However the Reporter can now reveal that a third public realm scheme has been proposed inn order to deliver further upgrades to Hill Street. The £1m scheme the bulk of which will be funded by the Department of Social Development is expected to stretch from the Town Hall to Margaret Square and from Marcus Square to Mill Street. According to City Centre Management representative Jack Murphy there are also hopes that the scheme will better integrate North Street into the city centre area. “You have to look at a town centre as a large shopping centre with convenient parking and ease,” he told the Reporter. “So looking at this scheme the first thing we need to do is to bring North Street car park into the town. At the moment as you walk up Margaret Street you then have to turn left or right and walk quite a bit to crossings. So I would like to see a crossing there with a ramp and arch into the car park. This brings it right into the centre of the city. I want an attractive city centre with car parking and if we have Corry Square and North Street and they are easily accessed people will get used to it very easily. That has to be done first. It would also deal with the problems in the tunnels we have seen in the papers recently.” Mr Murphy also said that he hoped the scheme would upgrade side streets off Hill Street. “It would include the topping and tailing of Hill Street,” he said. “It would also include the side streets. Last time (the previous Hill Street scheme) brought problems. There were silly mistakes that will have been learned from by doing it in small bites and traffic should be able to flow.”


Newry Reporter

5th June 2013