Northern Ireland

Council staff could ‘scooter’ to new civic centre in Newry

Council needs to consider ‘sustainable transport’, chief executive says

Image of Newry Cathedral and artist\'s impression of the new NMDDC Civic Centre. (Image from NMDDC website) Permission for all LDRS to publish.
Image of Newry Cathedral and an artist's impression of the new NMDDC Civic Centre.

A council boss has suggested staff could “scooter” to work at a new £17m civic centre in Newry as part of a “green agenda” on transport.

A Newry Mourne and Down District Council committee has approved plans to proceed with the development of the local authority’s HQ in the city centre.

The new civic building plans, close to Newry Cathedral, has caused concerns over parking spaces for staff and parishioners.

Council chief executive, Marie Ward said: “One of the biggest challenges faced in planning is parking in Newry generally, that is why we have a transportation study that is going on across Newry.”

The council is seeking to create staff parking at Cecil Street, 1km away, as well as public parking in North Street, 150 yards away from the planned civic hub at Abbey Way.

Ms Ward added: “The North Street plan will hopefully not just look at our (council staff) issue with parking, but will actually provide additional provision for Newry city and the regeneration moving forward.

“We also need to be cognisant…that there is a move from the green agenda and looking towards how we actually look at sustainable travel.

“So, the creation of additional carparking spaces and tarmacked areas right across Newry would potentially not be in the best interests of anyone, so we need to look at sustainable transport.

“A senior officer was saying to me that scooters are being legalised in the South and suggested maybe that would happen in the North. And we did have an interesting thought of us all going to work on a scooter.

“So, there is going to be opportunities moving forward looking at green transport and how we manage that, on bikes or whatever.”