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Through motor traffic removal to be trialed at missing link on Navan cycling route

Meath County Council are to trial a low traffic street using filtered permeability to the long-running issue of providing a walking and cycle route on Convent Road in Navan.

The Convent Road was part of a longer cross-town cycle route planned in 2018, but the Convent Road section was omitted from the project after controversy which included press coverage of how Pierce Brosnan, a Hollywood actor who grew up in the town, was against the re-location of an historic wall and felling of trees as part of the walking and cycle route.

The trees and wall will not need to be sacrificed for the new plan. Although projects which included the removal of through motor traffic in Dublin have come up against stiff opposition. Projects, for example, in Drumcondra and Grangegorman ultimately gained wider public support when results included calmer streets and more children walking and cycling to schools.

Navan Cycling Initiative, a local cycling campaign group, said: “The new plans for Convent Road, as part of the Trim Road to Athlumney Cycle Scheme, will create a safe route into the town centre, for local schools, and for access to the Boyne greenway. We welcome these plans and look forward to see them developing.”

Meath County Council said: “As part of the Council’s plans for increasing levels of cycling in Navan, it is intended to undertake a 12-month traffic management trial of a filtered permeability scheme for cyclists and pedestrians on Convent Road in Navan.”

“Convent Road represents an important link in connecting our Town for cycling and walking. If successful, it will facilitate our exciting plans to develop a cycle route from the Town to Convent Road and onto the Kentstown Road, to link with Metges Road and the recently constructed Distributor Road to Farganstown, in order to provide a safer route for cyclists of all ages.”

The council said that the route route is intended to provide connectivity with the existing cycle routes in Johnstown on Metges Road; the planned Trim Road cycle route facilities which is has planning approval and undergoing detailed design; and proposed Boyne Greenway route from Navan to Oldbridge for which a planning application is expected to be made later this year.

The council said: “The Council and its technical advisors have considered multiple options for Convent Road and the ‘emerging preferred option’ identified following a review process involves closing a short section of the road directly after the Riverside estate up as far as Athlumney Castle. This option is now being brought forward on a trial basis as part of a further assessment process.”

Meath County Council added: “The trial will be reviewed periodically to access its effectiveness, and because of the nature and type of the implementation it can be modified as needed to respond to the changing needs and requirements. Meath County Council will continually monitor traffic on the surrounding road network and may make further changes or implement additional measures to reduce delays for all other road users. It is noted that the type of bollards proposed for the trial will facilitate access for the closed section of road in emergency situations, and local access will be provided to properties and the graveyard will be facilitated from the Athlumney Castle end of Convent Road.”

The trial is expected to happen in September or October this year for 12 months, with public consultation starting at from Monday, July 5. Some further details can be found now on the council’s website.

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Cian Ginty

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