Thursday 22 March 2018

Parts of Dublin City Centre to go 'car free' for markets

South, South William St...HN
South, South William St...HN

Anita McSorley

Parts of Dublin City centre are to be car-free one Sunday a month from June until October in order to accommodate a market and street festival.

The streets will be pedestrianised and used for market stalls and performance areas for musical and theatre acts.

This will be used as a trial by the council to test the feasibility of pedestrianisation in the city’s shopping areas.

The plan, which is expected to be approved by Dublin City Councillors tonight, will see roads closed on the north side and the south side of the city centre on alternative months.

The chosen locations are South William Street and the surrounding roads between Grafton Street and George’s Street on the south side, and Wolfe Tone Park beside Jervis Street shopping centre on the north side.

The stalls will sell fashion, food and “high end bric-a-brac”, the council said.

In addition to allowing stall holders to trade on the day, subject to a trading licence of €38 or a hot food licence of €165, the festival will give local shops owners the opportunity to trade on the street on the day, giving them “more visibility and versatility”, the council said.

Independent Councillor Nial Ring welcomed the plan. He said these two locations are among some of the most under-used areas in the city centre.

“Anything we can do to being people from the likes of Henry Street to stimulate business among the quieter streets I would absolutely welcome.”

Councillor Mannix Flynn, another Independent, also welcomed the proposal, however he said he will have many questions to ask.

“This didn’t come before the casual trading committee and seems to be driven by Dublin City Council. There are many other markets on the likes of Moore Street who want to trade on Sundays. There have been no attempts to make these places permanent.”

He compared the plan to the Grafton Street Quarter motion that was recently shut down. The plans were to build better cycling lanes and more pedestrianisation between St. Stephens Lower, Grafton Street and Nassau Street, as well as Dawson street and Dame street.

Those going to the market are encouraged to use Luas, busses and Dart, however there will be access to car parks on the day.

Irish Independent

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