Works to modernise Tala Square are under way with a change in the road system, plans for a uniform look to surrounding properties and cosmetic beatification on the agenda.
The works have been in the pipeline for 30 years, but have been repeatedly stalled owing to lack of funds.
“There has been discussion evidently for some 30 years regarding improving and pedestrianisation of the square and I am delighted that we have finally reached agreement for modernisation to take place,” Tala Community Councillor Cathi Delaney told The Cyprus Weekly.
“Tala will have a lovely smart modern square, but in keeping with the area when the works are completed – something all the residents can be proud of and something which will be a draw for residents, tourists and visitors.”
A meeting was held last weekend where Christos Ktorides, the architect responsible for designing the works, presented the project to residents who were concerned about how the two-year long project could affect them.
This was followed by a question and answer session on the nature of the project.
Some residents have expressed concern over the commencement of the works at the height of the summer season but Delaney says this was inevitable.
“As the project will run for around two years there was never a good time to start.” Most of the project work had to start once the government funding was available. “Also, better progress can be made in the summer months as, if there was a wet winter, progress would be affected and the square would turn into a quagmire,” said Ktorides.
The first phase involves the levelling and reformation of the square with mains services diverted where needed.
A stone retaining wall will be installed and there will be a water feature, planted areas, appropriate surface finishing and wooden pergolas outside each of the properties bordering on the square so that there is a uniform feel.
The second phase will affect the road network around the square. Several roads will become one-way, or the one-way direction currently in place will be reversed. A mini-roundabout will be built close to the new church to help traffic flow.
The square will become pedestrianised with access for delivery vehicles only and several roads will be altered to allow access to property once the square is pedestrianised, or to help traffic flow with the one-way system.
Tala also has a network of narrow streets, most of which are currently open to two-way traffic which they were not designed to handle.
Once completed, the one-way system will help traffic flow.
“Parking will be underneath the new church, or in the old car park behind the square.
“Disabled parking will be created and there will also be around 10 new car parking spaces created on the road leading from the square to the school,” Delaney said.
The extensive works are expected to cost in the region of €1 million, although the final sum depends on tenders.
The work is being funded in part by Tala Council with accumulated funds set aside for the project, and the balance with government funding.
In terms of when the works are taking place, hours will be standard, in accordance to the season.
In the summer, works will start at around 7am and finish by 2.30pm and in winter the hours will be 8am until 4pm Monday to Friday.
There will be no work in the evenings, at weekends or on bank holidays.
While there will be diversions, Delaney said that contractors are working hard to ensure that all businesses could remain open and operative.
“Local businesses are very much open for business,” she said.
Source: in-Cyprus, Lucie Robson