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Taxi drivers threaten protest over proposed College Green plaza

The various taxi driver associations have grouped together to say that the damage the plaza will do to their business has not been taken into consideration by Dublin City Council.

7958 Taxi Fare Increases_90535889 Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

DUBLIN TAXI DRIVERS are threatening to protest over the impact a proposed new plaza in the city centre would have on their business.

The proposed College Green Plaza at Foster Place near the Central Bank, just south of the River Liffey, would see the taxi rank currently resident there removed.

The new plaza would also see access to Dame Street from Westmoreland Street become a thing of history.

Plans for the plaza, and its attendant traffic restrictions, were first announced two years ago.

Last November, An Bord Pleanála delivered something of a blow to the plaza by directing that the period of public consultation needed to be extended, while a public hearing regarding the proposed €10 million development was cancelled  at the last-minute last month.

Now, the National Private Hire and Taxi Association (NPHTA) says it will consider staging protests should the plan to make Foster Place a taxi-free zone proceed.

“Protest would be a last resort,” spokesman Jim Waldron said this morning.

“But taxi drivers in that area have their families to consider,” he said, adding that drivers’ submissions regarding the plans were, in his opinion, being “disregarded”.

“We’ve made constructive suggestions to Dublin City Council (DCC) regarding the plaza, which we are not in favour of, but if it has to happen we want to be consulted,” he said.

Currently, in the region of 250 taxi drivers operate out of the rank at Foster Place. A further 65 taxi berths have been lost in surrounding areas like Grafton Street, Dawson Street, and O’Connell Street due to the expansion of the Luas Cross City.

“All the taxi groups are co-operating on this. Everyone working around the area will be affected. They’ll lose that business,” says Waldron.

I don’t know what form a protest will take but drivers will protest if they have to.

TheJournal.ie has requested comment from Dublin City Council on the matter.

The traffic area around College Green has already been in the news this year due to the chronic gridlock created following the launch of the new Luas cross city service.

In the aftermath, 17 bus services were rerouted around the city’s quays in order to ease the congestion seen at Trinity College.

Read: Disciplinary action at Waterford council after €1.4 million spent on vans without senior management approval

Read: It is, no messing, going to be properly warm today

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