Plan for Dublin’s Parliament St “needs further investigation”, access arrangements to Fishamble St will be looked at first

— Access arrangements for Fishamble St will be considered first.
— New bridge at early stages of planning to link Fishamble St to Arren St East.

Any option for changing traffic on Parliament Street is to be subject to further investigation before a preferred option is brought forward to the elected members and the public, Dublin City Council official made clear in a report.

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“The following are the options which we believe need further investigation before a preferred option
is brought forward to the elected members and the public,” said a report by Brendan O’Brien, head of the traffic and transport section of the council and Claire French, a senior executive engineer.

An outline of three options has been published in the report ahead of them being presented to South East Area Committee councillors on Monday but this report and presentation will be for noting and questions. The process is about keeping councillors in the loop rather than presenting them as a menu of options.

The current options being explored for Parlement Street are (1) to make it motor traffic-free, (2) make it private car-free but retain access for public transport and taxis or (3) to reduce it to one lane and retain access for all motorists and public transport. Bicycle access is to be provided for under all options.

Fishamble Street will be considered first

Fishamble Street is planned to be looked at first with the council officals saying that this is regardless of any proposals for Parliament Street.

Fishamble Street is a primary route on the city council’s Active Travel network. At its north end will link to the not just the Liffey Cycle Route but also to a new bridge planned across the Liffey between Fishamble Street and Arran Street East. This new bridge is at the early stages of planning.

IMAGE: Fishamble Street is shown in the centre of the map in red with the new bridge to Arran Street East above it.

On its south end, Fishamble Street will also link to another primary Active Travel route made up of Weburgh Street / Bride Street / Heytesbury St. The Weburgh Street route is already two-way for cycling after a quick-build project was implemented there, but it seems there are no plans to link the two sections of the primary route in the short-term.

Dublin City Council confirmed to IrishCycle.com that the report has an error — it said: “The recommendation for Fishamble Street, regardless of any proposals for Parliament Street is to make it one way northbound (with cycling southbound permitted).” This should read one-way southbound and cycling permitted northbound.

Referring to a drawing in the report, which shows no provision for northbound cycling at the south end of the street where it intersects with Christchurch Place/Lord Edward Street, an official said: “Detailed design will be carried out following discussion of the item at the meeting on Monday.”

The council report said the plan to make the street one-way with two-way cycling will “improve the traffic flow, allow for more loading and parking spaces to be installed on the street and will allow the pedestrian crossing to be widened to 4m which is more suitable for the volume of pedestrians in the area.”

The report added: “Disabled spaces would be retained in situ and it is now proposed to hold a short consultation with the residents and businesses on this street before the change is implemented.”

Next steps

These are the following are the options which the officials want to further investigation:

  • Making Parliament Street Public Transport only – “Under this option buses, taxis and cycling will be permitted, deliveries would be allowed up to 11.00. This will remove private vehicles from the space whilst maintaining buses and taxis. Taxis are the biggest user of the street late at nigh”t.
  • Reduce Parliament Street to one lane – “Potentially the footpath could be extended on each side by approximately 1m and the carriageway reduced to one lane with some indented loading bays provided. However further investigations are currently being carried out as the camber of the road may not be suitable for a footpath extension without significant civil works, also this would be need to considered in light of permitted users of the street.”
  • Make Parliament Street Traffic Free – “Create a traffic free space on Parliament street. It is likely that it would need to be in two sections – between the quays and Essex Street East and between Essex Street East and Lord Edward Street. A through route between Essex Gate and Essex St East from west to east would be kept open to traffic to allow for access to the disabled bays, the court, the hotel, deliveries and for resident access and egress in the area.”

The report said officials are looking for agreement from councillors that Fishamble Street changes can proceed separately and then for that process to commence and then prepare detailed options for Parliament Street.

The report added officials would “examine the feasibility and impacts of each one [of the three options]. Prepare a report and drawings showing the preferred option as a result of this process for further consideration by the elected members and decide appropriate next steps.”

READ MORE: Report on Fishamble Street and Parliament Street Proposals

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