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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020

'Frankly ridiculous': Soc Dems leader objects to plans to stop buses going through College Green

Roisin Shortall is due to make an oral submission to the Bord Pleanála on Monday.

The proposed College Green Plaza looking from Trinity College.
The proposed College Green Plaza looking from Trinity College.
Image: Dublin City Council

THE CO-LEADER of the Social Democrats is objecting to plans to pedestrianise College Green in Dublin city centre and to stop buses passing through.

Roisin Shortall is due to make an oral submission to a An Bord Pleanála hearing on the proposed plans for a new civic plaza at College Green, which will be held on Monday.

The proposed pedestrianisation of College Green – which currently acts as a very busy bus corridor through the city centre – has been met with a lot of resistance from local businesses and representatives.

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.

The hearing will now be held this Monday at 10.30am and will hear from public representatives and concerned bodies.

Ahead of the hearing, Shortall made a submission highly critical of the proposed plans.

The submission and presentation – seen by - outlines the issues with cutting off bus access to College Green.

“I believe that is nonsensical to close access to the main cross-city artery to the predominant form of public transport,” Shortall said.

The plans, while laudable in their vision to create a civic space in the city centre, simply do not reflect the reality of the severe constraints already on public transport in Dublin.

“Frankly ridiculous” 

Shortall said that Dublin currently relies heavily on buses as a form of public transport and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

And further diversions of buses would have a negative impact on the city, she said.

“When the sole means of public transport for an area such as this is bus, it is frankly, ridiculous that access to the core of the city centre would be curtailed in this manner,” she said.

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She also said that the plans would disproportionately affect people coming from areas that had no access to other forms of public transport (like Luas or Irish Rail).

This includes her own constituency of Dublin North West.

“Simply put, College Green is central to the effective operation of the bus network in Dublin. The alternative routing plans are not realistic or feasible,” Shortall said.

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.

With reporting from Cianan Brennan 

Read: Taxi drivers threaten protest over proposed College Green plaza

Read: ‘Possible increased fares’: Taxis won’t be allowed to use some College Green roads during rush hour

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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