Dublin City Council’s plans to permanently ban private cars from College Green from May 29, while welcome, must involve meaningful engagement with local businesses to avoid a repeat of difficulties experienced in other parts of the city centre during the transition.
Dublin Town, the collective voice of businesses in Dublin City centre strongly warned that practical difficulties arise for businesses when vehicles are removed from a location, including problems with deliveries, waste collection and sanitation, as well as access for utility providers and construction teams.
It says transition to a low vehicle environment, and the required 50% reduction in transport related emissions, will be achieved more effectively and efficiently with the confidence and goodwill of businesses.
The collective, which works with its 2,500 members to create a better city experience for everyone, said a rapid shift in thinking by city centre businesses is already driving responsible corporate and customer behaviour.
“However, the difficulties experienced when Capel Street became traffic free in 2022 led to businesses in other parts of the city becoming sceptical about the process and withdrawing support for a ban on private cars,” said Dublin Town CEO, Richard Guiney.
“But potential problems can be solved if proposals are discussed and concerns addressed before they are announced.
“We anticipate significant change as to how business will be conducted in Dublin City centre in the coming years as we move to net zero.
“This will require investment in retrofitting and in renewable energy by businesses which will be best achieved if there is trust and confidence that the process is inclusive.”
Sample caption: Dublin Town CEO Richard Guiney says business in the city centre require meaningful engagement over plans to ban private cars.
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