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Roads near Grafton St closed to traffic in new trial

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Grafton Street. Stock Image

Grafton Street. Stock Image

Grafton Street. Stock Image

The pedestrianisation of streets off Grafton Street in Dublin is being trialled from this weekend.

The trials will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 7pm, with the first starting tomorrow, running for four weeks.

Sections of South Anne Street, South William Street, Duke Street, Drury Street and Dame Court are included as part of a broader strategy for traffic control.

Publishing pilot details earlier this month, Dublin City Council said the step was designed to provide space for safe movement of people and to help businesses to overcome the Covid-19-inflicted downturn.

"Pedestrian numbers throughout the city has fallen dramatically since early March and although numbers have increased slightly in the last number of weeks, footfall is still well below average", it said.

Reminding city visitors and workers of the changes, the council said: "Don't forget the trialling starts this weekend. At the heart of this programme are the following high-level aims to ensure safe access to and movement within Dublin City for all users, providing sufficient movement capacity to cater for the changed travel patterns and to support the economic recovery of the city and the region."

As of June 21, at the weekends, footfall in Henry Street was at approximately 50pc of pre Covid levels but it was only at 20pc around Grafton Street, according to the council.

Graeme McQueen of Dublin Chamber of Commerce said they welcomed the trial getting under way, but that it needs to be made a "permanent change" and "should include Dawson Street, Nassau Street and George's Street."

As part of the trials, five disabled parking bays will be moved to alternative locations during the times of the trials.

On-street parking will be suspended on Anne Street South, Drury Street and Dame Court during the closure. Parking has been suspended on South William Street.

Green Party councillors have welcomed the trials.

Irish Independent