Sunday 18 August 2019

Decision delayed on College Green traffic ban

Dublin council wants to pedestrianise College Green. Photo: Damien Eagers
Dublin council wants to pedestrianise College Green. Photo: Damien Eagers
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Dublin City Council will announce details within the next two weeks of a further round of public consultations on proposals to develop a pedestrian-only plaza at College Green.

The move comes after An Bord Pleanála sought additional information about the impact that banning east-west traffic movements would have on the wider city.

It also asked the council to provide details around the "adequacy of infrastructure", which would facilitate the changes.

In a letter to the council, the board said the additional information "contains significant additional data in relation to the likely effects on the environment of the proposed development".

It said that a further round of public consultation should take place for three weeks, and a decision is now expected by April. The deadline was originally Thursday of this week.

The plans are designed to facilitate Luas Cross City, which opens next month, and create a pedestrian-only plaza, which would remove cars and large numbers of buses from the historic city core. However, concerns were raised by businesses and Dublin Bus about re-routing services, and by the National Transport Authority about the lack of segregated cycle lanes.

Dublin Chamber welcomed the decision to re-open the public consultation, saying a "lot of questions" remained about how the city would operate if the changes were implemented.

"The creation of a pedestrian plaza on College Green could be great for the city," said Graeme McQueen, head of public affairs. "However, a lot of questions remain about how College Green and other areas of the city centre will work in practice once the proposed changes are introduced.

"Crucially, uncertainty remains as to whether the traffic that will be pushed out of College Green can be accommodated on other already congested city centre streets. Reimagining College Green represents an exciting opportunity for Dublin - but only if we get it right."

Irish Independent

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