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Fix parking first, then pedestrianise North Quay, government told

Business owners given the chance to express their views

A traffic-free trial for North Quay in Douglas has been met with resistance by businesses and users of the area, after they were consulted for the first time last night (23 July).

In an attempt to drive 'an outdoor dining culture' in the capital, the Department for Enterprise and Department of Infrastructure are proposing the quayside should be pedestrianised, 11am to 11pm, seven days a week.

It's an idea that has the backing of the council, and is designed to help the hospitality sector recover after the hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Depending on support, the full pedestrianisation from the would begin from Quine's Corner and end at the Barbary Coast, running until no later than 30 September.

Queen Street would become two-way, and so too would Ridgeway Street, with a turning point opposite St Matthew's Church.

But, at the first public airing of the scheme in St Matthew's Church, a lack of vehicle access for customers and issues with parking dominated discussions.

Douglas council has thrown its support behind the plans, but after hearing concerns from those at the meeting, councillor Richie McNichol said 'leave it as it is'.

Mayor John Joughin said the traffic diversion from Market Street onto Chapel Row was 'ludicrous.'

A supporter of the scheme however is Green Party councillor Andrew Bentley:

Livia from restaurant Bonjour Creperie believes parking in the area needs to be addressed first, before moving ahead:

Also on the timing, Chris Waller from Noa Market Hall said full pedestrianisation is 'too much right now':

Linda Coe from the Manx Legion Club wasn't impressed with the way the plans were brought forward:

After holding a Q&A, the DfE's Tim Cowsill, who is behind the idea, told the meeting the initial proposal was 'dead in the water' and consideration will be given to the feedback: