Cycling and walking, as part of an active lifestyle, are recognised as being very important for good health. These activities promote healthy growth and development in children and young people and are also important for healthy ageing, which contributes to a higher quality of life and independence as we grow older. They also reduce our reliance on car-based trips and hence carbon emissions, which is good for the environment also.

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. This route is intended to provide connectivity with the existing cycle facilities in Johnstown on Metges Road, the planned Trim Road cycle route facilities (planning approved and currently being designed) and the proposed Boyne Greenway route from Navan to Oldbridge (a planning application is expected to be made later this year).

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.

The trial will include the provision of a series of bollards and temporary planters which will be installed on this 270m section of Convent Road, with appropriate signage and road markings. The implementation of these measures will result in the removal of motorised through traffic along this section of the road, with traffic will no longer be able to access Elm Park/Athlumney Castle via Convent Road. However, the provision of the filtered permeability through the bollards will enable pedestrians and cyclists to continue to take this route.

This will create a safer road space for local residents, cyclists and pedestrians, and local school children who attend the Loreto School, and also aims to encourage increased use of Convent Road as a safer route for cycling. It will also provide an option of a wider space for pedestrians along this section of Convent Road which has existing narrow footpaths which can be problematic for physical distancing, wheelchair users and those with buggies & prams.

The key aims of the scheme option being tested as part of the trial are:

· Removal of a pinch point along the Trim Road to Athlumney Cycle scheme to provide an interconnected cycle and pedestrian street network for Navan;

· Create a safer environment for pedestrians (in particular children) and cyclists; and

· Removal of cut-through traffic from the local residential streets.

The trial, intended to commence in September/October this year for a period of 12 months, includes for the following:

· The closure of Convent Road to vehicular traffic from the Riverside development to Athlumney Castle (with local access provided);

· Traffic calming on Convent Road in proximity to the entrance to the Loreto Secondary School;

· Enhanced public lighting;

· Provision of CCTV for the purposes of traffic management, public order and safety in public places;

· Landscaping measures;

· Road surfacing, erection of signage; and

· ancillary works

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

Meath County Council propose to deliver the filtered permeability scheme in two stages:

1. Immediately creating a low traffic neighbourhood with a temporary scheme.

2. Consideration for development of a permanent scheme, which will be informed by engaging with the community and learning lessons from the temporary scheme.

It is our intention to prepare a report on the trial which will be presented to the Local Municipal District on our findings and feedback during the 12-month period, following which a decision will be made on either implementing it as a permanent scheme, modifying the scheme, or its removal and reassessment of the options.

The Council intend to carry out these traffic calming measures under Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act. In advance of implementing the trial we are putting the plans out for non-statutory public consultation for a 3-week window from Monday, the 5th July until Friday, the 23rd of July.

Further details of the proposals and of how to participate in the consultation can be found at our website and from Monday, the 5th of July.

We would like to ensure you that any correspondence received will be directed to the Active Travel Team for consideration. However, it may not be possible to respond individually to all correspondence received.