TWO YEARS after Sligo’s main street was pedestrianised amid much controversy local councillors have called on the county manager to reopen it to traffic.
Business leaders and local people have consistently criticised the failure of the council to carry out enhancement works on O’Connell Street since it was closed to traffic in August 2006. Councillors have now voted by a tiny margin not to take out a €4.5 million loan to enable the enhancement works to take place.
At this week’s Sligo borough council meeting a motion calling on the manager to reopen the street was carried on the casting vote of Mayor Veronica Cawley (Lab). A motion urging a loan not be authorised was also carried.
Cllr Chris MacManus (SF) said it would be irresponsible to take on such a debt when local authority jobs were under threat. Councillors had been told such projects, which were to have been funded by the exchequer under the Gateway Innovation Fund,were being deferred because of financial constraints.
Ibec northwest regional director Padraig O’Grady said the failure to invest in the street had been a deterrent to shoppers.