herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Cars and taxis may face city centre ban under new transport proposals

traffic

Cars and taxis face being banned from large parts of the city centre under plans to make Dublin more attractive to walkers, cyclists and public transport users.

Dublin City Council (DCC) and the National Transport Authority (NTA) have unveiled proposals for an ambitious re-think of the city's streets.

Proposals include:

l A ban on private cars on parts of the north and south quays.

l Closing city centre car parks and building a new facility at Heuston Station to discourage cars from entering the city centre.

l A complete ban on cars and taxis from College Green.

l The closure of the Luas stop at Connolly Station.

l The pedestrianiastion of Suffolk Street and St Stephen's Green North.

l The Introduction of Bus Rapid Transit from suburbs to the city centre.

The plan, which runs until 2023, envisages €150m being spent on a range of sustainable transport projects including bus infrastructure, road resurfacing, cycling and walking schemes and continued roll-out of Real Time Passenger Information systems.

Some works, such as the upgrade of College Green, are already largely funded under the Luas Cross-City scheme, due for completion in 2017.

There are radical proposals for traffic on the quays.

Private cars will be banned from Bachelor's Walk and another location on the southside of the River Liffey, most likely George's Quay.

In addition, footpaths will be widened on Westmoreland Street, and a central median constructed on D'Olier Street to provide more bus stops.

storage

The reduction in the number of car parking spaces and relocation of car parks to Heuston will see existing buildings converted as bike storage or to taxi holding areas, replacing some ranks.

Cars using the city centre as a through route will be diverted onto alternative routes, avoiding the central area.

These changes will be flagged from the M50 motorway.

The Dublin City Transport Study, prepared by DCC and the NTA, says that during the boom, the city's public transport network and urban environment were under "severe pressure" as a result of the numbers of people in the city centre.

Congestion is again becoming a feature of daily life, but by 2023 as many as 234,000 people are expected to enter and leave the city centre during the morning and evening peaks every day - up 42,000 on today, or 20pc - meaning the city could grind to a halt unless car use is discouraged.

If implemented, the plans will improve the walking and cycling environment in the city, provide better public transport and improve air quality and reduce noise.

A period of public consultation on the study will run from tomorrow, June 11, until July 16 next.

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