Tralee, a town in the south-west of Kerry, is a very popular tourist destination, and it fully intends to remain popular. This is why Kerry County Council redeveloped an important part of the town, The Mall, and has turned it into a beautiful, pedestrian-friendly area. It has been a successful venture for the architects, Nicolas de Jong, and for the Kildare-based contractor, John Craddock, who is no stranger to Tralee’s regeneration projects, having previously completed the improvement to the Town Square.
This was part of the Active Travel Town initiative, and it converted Denny Street to two-way traffic, and brought about improvements to the shared space area from Carraig Donn to the junction of The Mall and Denny Street.
Tralee can certainly be proud of this work. Recently, Kerry County Council won the Silver Award for The Mall Shared Space for the Best Disability Access and Inclusion Initiative. With access to public spaces for disabled people playing an increasingly important role in town planning, Tralee seems to be blazing a trail.
Safety will have been an important factor in the design and implementation of the redevelopment, and the choice of Flamed finish Irish Blue Limestone for the paving could not have been bettered. There is a range of finishes for this lovely stone that will achieve a non-slip surface in wet conditions, and Flamed is one of the most popular and effective.
Tralee also used Ireland’s beautiful native stone for the kerbing, the water channels, the seating, and the decorative spherical bollards that keep traffic away from the pedestrian areas without spoiling the relaxed ambience of the space. The seating demonstrates the versatility of the limestone, as the seats themselves have been polished to a high lustre, but they stand on a simple, attractive base where the curved lines are enhanced by the rougher matt finish that has been applied.
Tralee is to be congratulated, not only on the success of this project, but also for its successful implementation of environmental considerations, the award-winning access and inclusion initiative, and its use of local contractors and materials.