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File photo of traffic outside Pearse Street garda station Alamy Stock Photo
IBEC

Business group sounds warning about plans to block cars travelling through Dublin city

The changes, which are to be rolled out from August, would significantly reduce the number of vehicles going through the centre.

BUSINESSES HAVE CALLED for a new traffic plan in Dublin’s city centre to be halted, fearing its impact on trade.

The changes, which are to be rolled out from August, would significantly reduce the number of vehicles going through the centre.

They will affect traffic management and road layouts around Westland Row and Pearse Street, Bachelor’s Walk and Aston Quay.

Six out of every ten cars in the city centre are only using it as a route to reach destinations outside of the centre, the council reported. Instead, that traffic “could be removed without impacting on the vitality and viability of the economic and cultural life of this area”. 

Ibec, which represents Irish businesses, says not enough consideration has been given to the possible negative impacts of the plan, such as accessibility.

Aidan Sweeney, Ibec’s Head of Infrastructure and Environmental Sustainability, accepts that “a thriving, and dynamic city centre” demands changes to transport.

“Unnecessary transit through the city centre needs to be avoided, as Dublin is far too car dependent for most of its journeys,” he said.

“However, the proposed traffic changes do not adequately reflect the reality of businesses operating within the city centre. These businesses are critical to the life and vibrancy of the city centre, creating employment and footfall, whilst also attracting shoppers, visitors, and tourists”.

He said businesses want the plans paused until the council engages comprehensively with stakeholders.

“Dialogue is needed now to ensure to minimise disruption to the city centre during the lengthy construction phase.

“If Dublin is seen as difficult to access for shoppers, visitors, businesses, and staff, it will adversely impact the economic and social life of the city.

“In short, we need a city that works now and into the future,” he concluded.

Sweeney added that the construction of the metrolink – which was partial motivation for the new traffic plan – should still be considered.

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