Car-free Capel Street “may be in trouble” as councillors lobbied by businesses and motorists

— Sustainable transport campaigners urges people to reply to consultation which closes today.

There is growing concern that the car-free Capel Street scheme will be removed, watered down or that cycling will be banned on what officials term as an important north-south link.'s reader-funded journalism won't survive without your help. With over 762,000 views so-far this year, it's not just "avid cyclists" who read this website, but, if you want it to keep going, more support is needed from readers like you. Now, back to the article...

As reported in July, groups against car-free Capel Street continue to put pressure on councillors. This was somewhat dismissed at the time, but is now been taken more seriously as some councillors have called for a review of the scheme to include the question of car access to the street.

As well as businesses and business groups who were against the project in the first place, this website is aware that those contacting councillors include car-using city centre residents who have complained about how they are not free to drive on Capel Street as they were before. A number of them have vowed on social media to get cars back on the street.

“Capel Street may be in trouble,” said Dublin Commuter Coalition, a group that campaigns for sustainable transport provision.

UPDATE: The group originally said that “Cllrs Janice Boylan and Niall Ring are pushing for the option of removing the scheme supported by Dublin Town,” but after being contacted by Cllr Boylan, they later said: “Cllr Janice Boylan has contacted us to clarify that she doesn’t support reversing the pedestrianisation of Capel Street but was only speaking on behalf of constituents who contacted her.”

Referring to the current public consultation regarding the street at, which closes today, Dublin Commuter Coalition added: “The survey closes today. Tell them you support it and that you want to improve it.”

Those against the scheme are contacting councillors, including trying to link a boy being knocked down on a street running one-way northbound is somehow related to the closure of Capel Street for motorists when it used to run southbound.

Councillors against the current set-up on Capel Street are also using a survey from Dublin Town, a business group, to claim that the majority of businesses on Capel Street are against keeping the street car-free. But the Dublin Inquirer newspaper reported that when it questioned DublinTown CEO Richard Guiney he couldn’t say how many businesses were surveyed.

DublinTown — which is heavenly influenced by large businesses with car park interests — have been against the car-free Capel Street scheme from the outset and, as part of a previous lobbying effort, it make vague legal threats before the scheme was put in place.

Councillors discussed Capel Street at their local area meeting yesterday, you can watch what they said in full in this video:


  1. When this project was proposed, one of the main objectors to the idea was Louis Copeland. Recently, when the Lord Mayor was on the street, Louis came out to her to say how pleasant the street had become. He is now a supporter.

    While it’s important for people to express concerns, that should not prevent new ideas. Concerns should be listened to, but we often see that they don’t come to fruition. To be In fair to the politicians, they are getting it in the ear from constituents. This is why it’s important to express support for new proposals, to balance the other voices.

  2. 6% increase in traffic on Church st sounds about right to me. It takes significant volumes of traffic. Capel street when it took traffic had exceptionally low throughput (didn’t look that way, since it was a car park end to end).

    Greek st is the opposite flow to Capel St. Any accident on Greek st is down to cars coming out like greyhounds out of traps once they clear the luas tracks. Surely the solution there would be traffic calming to slow cars down there. I mean the whole area around there is a great candidate for filtered permeability to cut down on through traffic but I doubt that would ever happen.


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