Pedestrianising Capel Street 24/7 would “inconvenience businesses” says new Lord Mayor

— Many businesses on Capel Street and Parliament Street want them fully pedestrianised.

Dublin’s new Lord Mayor, Cllr Alison Gilliland (Labour), has said that Capel Street and Parliament Street cannot be pedestrianised 24/7 because it could “inconvenience businesses”.

The Lord Mayor said that Capel Street is “the” artery out of the northside when going west — but Capel Street is a convoluted route from the most of northside to the west of the city, except for mainly the northside city centre car parks.

A National Transport Authority funded survey in 2015 showed that 80% of Dublin City Centre retail spend is from non-car shoppers. The survey was before Luas Cross City, and extra bus lanes on the quays — and traffic counts since have shown a steady yearly decrease in cars entering the city centre.

Cllr Gilliland made the comments on The Echo Chamber Podcast when asked by one of the presenters if Dublin City Council has done enough  enough space made available for an outdoor summer in the city.

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She said: “I think one of the challenges in the city regarding pedestrianisation and open air dining is balancing out the residents who live in the city, the cars and buses which need to use our streets.”

“We’ve been doing that on Capel Street and Parliament Street and I know a lot of people would like to see that 24/7 particularly at weekends, but Capel Street happens to be the artery out of the northside of the city if you’re going to the west,” said Cllr Gilliland.

The Lord Mayor added: “And while we do detour the traffic at the [evenings on the] weekends, it’s very difficult to do that during a working day — you don’t want to be inconveniencing businesses that are only trying to get back post-Covid.”

While there are mixed views among city centre businesses, it is understood that many want to see Capel Street and Parliament Street fully pedestrianised. A high volume of the traffic on the street is believed to be just flowing out of city centre car parks and other routes are usually more free-flowing when Capel Street is at a standstill.

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