MAJOR problems in the Applemarket need to be urgently addressed, according to local Councillors. At the September Metropolitan District meeting of Waterford City & County Council, a range of problems were discussed relating to the new ‘shared space’ which was officially opened in the summer of 2017. “We have a major problem at the Applemarket which is not going to go away. It’s only going to get worse,” said Cllr Mary Roche (Ind).She said she was in possession of a photo which showed a hazardous seating arrangement outside a premises in the area which left little room for pedestrians to pass by. “It was taken on a Sunday when there wasn’t supposed to be traffic but there was,” she explained.She outlined the difficulties such a situation presents, particularly for disabled and visually impaired people as well as those with buggies who are forced to walk into the path of traffic.Cllr Roche said the Applemarket is now a pedestrian space “in everything except reality” and said she had received many representations on the issue.She said she could understand that businesses wanted the area opened to traffic, particularly at certain times.
“We need to get our heads around it,” she said, adding that the area could perhaps be closed to traffic outside of delivery times. Suggesting a solution, she pointed out that the John’s Lane road is now “virtually redundant”. “It’s an awful pity when developing the Applemarket that we didn’t take a long term approach to opening John’s Lane by Wyse Park which would solve a lot of problems,” she said. While she acknowledged that it would probably be too difficult to do this now, she said it would have been worthwhile and would have served to further highlight Wyse Park. She asked that the Council examine this suggestion as “something needs to be done”. “There is a perfectly good road there but it’s dwindling away,” she said. Cllr Jason Murphy (FF) said there are still concerns among residents of Spring Garden Alley and outlined their dissatisfaction in relation to access issues. Meanwhile, a raft of issues relating to the new public realm works at Arundel Square and Michael Street were also discussed.
Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) said Arundel Square doesn’t resemble the area as presented to Councillors before work commenced. He asked that a workshop be held to discuss the issue of amendments being made to plans which have been approved by Councillors. Metropolitan Mayor Cllr Joe Kelly (Ind) agreed with this suggestion. He outlined concerns in relation to the new seats on Michael Street and particularly the problems being posed for visually impaired people. “People can’t see them. One lady fell over a seat,” he said, explaining that the colour of the seats is the same as the paving.Cllr Kelly also said a number of parking spaces are now “missing”. He said it’s not fair to Councillors that “half the stuff is missing without us knowing about it”.
“It’s not the way we should do business,” he said, agreeing with Cllr Mulligan’s request for a workshop to address issues.