herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

'It's a good idea, we're sick of the bus fumes,' say business owners

Elizabetha Gudaniel of O'Neill's bar on Suffolk Street
Elizabetha Gudaniel of O'Neill's bar on Suffolk Street
Bar Manager, Niall Wallace, O'Donoghues, Sean Campbell, The Back Shop and Greg Donaghy at Suffolk St

Pubs and restaurants on Suffolk Street will be glad to see the back of heavy traffic and exhaust fumes if the area becomes pedestrianised.

Elizabetha Gudaniec, assistant manager of O'Neill's bar and restaurant described the proposal is "a really good idea" and "really positive".

"Usually there are a lot of buses here and there's always a smell from the fumes. If the street is closed to cars and buses it would be perfect," she told the Herald.

Niall Wallace, co-owner of O'Donoghues pub on the street, agreed: "I think it's great, it will give Dublin more of a European city feel and it will make it a bit more laid back."

Sean Campbell, owner of the Back Shop on nearby Exchequer Street, said it was a good idea but had some concerns.

"It will make a huge difference to the service industry on the street but I'd be worried about deliveries. And I have people who need to drive in to me, they could be in wheelchairs and I'd need to look at how they're sitting so access would be important for them."

Pacino's restaurant manager José Cardoso welcomed the news.

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Bar Manager, Niall Wallace, O'Donoghues, Sean Campbell, The Back Shop and Greg Donaghy at Suffolk St

"All the buses are on this side of the street and we can't open the French windows because of all the fumes that come in. The buses completely cover the shop when they pull in. The whole of the city should be pedestrianised," he said.

The street is currently closed to traffic as work continues on the Luas Cross City project. Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) also propose to pedestrianise St Stephen's Green North, home to the Shelbourne Hotel.

If the plan goes ahead, Luas trams will be the only vehicles in the area as they wind their way around from the current terminus opposite St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre and down Dawson Street. The line is due to open by 2017.

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