Main Dublin business groups back College Green plaza plan

DublinTown and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce have both issued statements of support for the pedestrian and cycling plaza planned for College Green. 

DublinTown is the main group representing Dublin city centre businesses, while Dublin Chamber of Commerce covers a wider area of Dublin, while including businesses in and around the city centre.

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The support from business follows cross-party support from local councillors on Monday when the plan was made public. 

In a statement published on its website, the DublinTown said: “A key consideration for city businesses is maintained access to the city’s public car parks and hotels. The plans unveiled can accommodate these objectives and it is to the credit of the Council and the National Transport Authority, that this is achieved while also creating a civic plaza which has been on the city’s wish list for many years.”

Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown said: “It is particularly gratifying to see that the concerns expressed by the business community have been taken into consideration and have been addressed by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority. We believe that the plans outlined are workable and will add considerably to the city experience.”

He added: “We look forward to the development of the civic plaza on College Green and the creation of a central event space. These are exciting times when we are future proofing the city for 21st century. Dublin has the clear potential to be a key European city and the decisions we make today will determine our success for the decades to come. The inclusive process adopted in the development of the current proposals auger well for the future.

Gina Quin, CEO of Dublin Chamber, said in a statement on their website: “This is a win-win for Dublin. Under this proposal buses, Luas, taxis and cyclists able to travel both north and south around Trinity College, while at the same time College Green becoming a pedestrian plaza. This is an exciting opportunity for the centre of Dublin and indicative of the multiple positive effects that large infrastructure investments can have on the city. As well as making it easier for people to come in and out of the city, such investments also provide the chance to re-assess and re-imagine our city.”

Quin added: “The main goal in redesigning College Green is to find a solution which will best allow all modes of transport and pedestrians to move through the College Green area. It is encouraging to see that the Council has listened to the views of businesses and city users to help come up with an improved proposal which is both visionary and achievable. At the same time, the creation of a large pedestrian area on College Green offers the potential to create a plaza that will rival that of any city in Europe. It will also provide a stunning location for festivals and homecomings.”

The Dublin Chamber of Commerce, also ran a Twitter poll, which resulted in a small sample but found that 85% of followers who responded support the idea with a “Good idea?” response, while only 15% chose “Bad idea?”.

A third business group, the Dublin City Business Association, which is a more fringe group with a record of objecting to public transport improvements, said at the city council transport committee on Wednesday morning that it had concerns about tourist coach access and access to car parks, but city council officals make it clear that such was provided for, and representatives of other business groups welcomed this.

While stating concerns, the Dublin City Business Association representative did not clearly object to the plans for the plaza.

MORE: College Green – first look at “visionary” new plan

UPDATED: This article was updated on February 10, 2016, to add in the views of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the Dublin City Business Association.

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