Fewer cars and fewer bus stops for socially distanced city centre

by Gazette Reporter

THE phased pedestrianisation of Dublin’s College Green is among plans to provide more social distancing during the return to work as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The mobility plans by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority restrict road space for private motorists and mean fewer bus stops for commuters.

Announcing details of the temporary measures – funded by the NTA – Transport Minister Shane Ross said it would bring vibrancy back to the city centre. 

He said: “My Department has been working in conjunction with the NTA to make our roads and pathways safer and more user friendly for all.

“We all want to see the eventual return of Dublin’s famous vibrancy, and I believe that the plans published today are an important step in the right direction.”

The report, entitled Enabling the City to Return to Work, sets out 14 radial routes that will give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

It predicts that public transport capacity will be reduced by 80% because of social distancing so it is aiming at a 100% increase in pedestrians and a 300% increase in cyclists.

To reduce bus queues, fewer buses will use the same stop meaning longer walks for some commuters.

Specifically to “move the load” around the city, routes from the Camden Street-George’s Street area will be moved on to the Stephen’s Green-Dawson Street alignments with a contra-flow bus lane on Winetavern Street.

Bus priority at traffic signals, extra bus lanes, increased cycle lanes and widening of pavements for pedestrians are among the measure proposed.

Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance have threatened legal action, saying that the restrictions on cars will damage the revival of retail trade.

DublinTown has also been critical of plans to restrict vehicular access to the city centre, arguing that banning cars from 11am will have a detrimental effect on trade.

The 14 radial routes are: 1 Rathmines – Richmond Street South – George’s Street – Dame Street; 2 Fairview – North Strand – Newcomen Bridge – Amiens Street – Beresford Place; 3 Harold’s Cross – Clanbrassil Street – Dame Street; 4 Donnybrook – Leeson Street – College Green; 5 Drumcondra – Dorset Street – O’Connell Street;  6 Grand Canal Street – Pearse Street (via Docklands); 7 Ranelagh – Charlemont Street; 8 Baggot Street Lower – Merrion Row; 9 Ballsbridge – Mount Street – College Green; 10 Phibsborough – Church Street – North Quays; 11 Ballybough – Summerhill Parade; 12 Docklands – North Wall Quay; 13 Crumlin – Cork Street – Kevin Street – St Stephen’s Green; 14. Grand Canal.

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