New plan to ban all traffic from College Green
RADICAL proposals to ban traffic from College Green and transform it into a pedestrian plaza have been welcomed as a return to "Georgian Dublin".
New plans would close off to traffic a large stretch from Trinity College to Church Lane.
Buses and the Luas will instead travel past Trinity to lower Grafton Street. Taxis will also be allowed to use the public transport corridor for a trial period.
The plans were welcomed by councillors sitting on the south-east area committee of Dublin City Council (DCC).
"I think we are going back to what was there in Georgian Dublin, and I think it's to be welcomed," Fine Gael councillor Kieran Binchy said.
Green Party councillor Claire Byrne said that the new vision would lend a "European feel" to the city.
In addition to the pedestrianised plaza the plans also include proposals for a two-way segregated cycle lane.
A wide pedestrian crossing is also planned at the gates of Trinity College.
Suffolk Street and Foster Place would also be pedestrianised if the proposals get the go-ahead.
DCC official Brendan O'Brien said talks were ongoing with Dublin Bus about options for re-routing buses in that section of the city.
The new plans, described by one official as a "once-in-a lifetime chance to do something in this area", will be put out for pubic consultation in March.
No changes are due to take place until early 2017, in line with the Luas cross-city works.
Planners were forced back to the drawing board in December, when initial plans for an overhaul of the area were rejected.
Councillors had raised concerns over cycling facilities.
Plans to relocate the statues in place at College Green under the previous designs also proved controversial - but under the new plans they will stay in place.