Wednesday 22 November 2017

Council transport plan 'will be a nightmare and could close us' - Central Hotel boss

The Central Hotel is owned by Myles Tuthill
The Central Hotel is owned by Myles Tuthill

A hotel boss is "fearful" his business will close if streets are pedestrianised and traffic restricted in the capital under new transport plans.

Myles Tuthill, the managing director of the Central Hotel on nearby Exchequer Street, said the plans would be "a disaster" for business.

"This would be a nightmare for us," he said.

The hotel, which has been on the street for 126 years, is popular among American tourists and employs 55 people.

Asked by the Herald if he thought the transport plan would lead to his own hotel's closure, Mr Tuthill said: "I would be very fearful of that."

Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority put forward plans which will see Suffolk Street and parts of St Stephen's Green pedestrianised while College Green would be restricted to bus and Luas services. Mr Tuthill plans to make a submission to the council to express his opposition.

He said closing roads to cars would make it "very difficult" for tourists to access the hotel.

"These plans would be detrimental, with tourists regularly renting cars and coming to us that way.

"People will say they can't get to the Central Hotel so they will stay somewhere else instead," Mr Tuthill said.

Meanwhile, the Irish Parking Association surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers on the proposals, finding that there would be a 24pc decline in retail revenue if they went ahead.

Retail Ireland said it was "disappointed" that the transport plans were announced without prior consultation.

However not all reactions were negative, with several businesses telling the Herald that they were happy with the plans.

Eoin Deegan, owner of 2Wheels bike shop on South William Street, said the plans would probably "benefit" his store.

He said it would "ease congestion" around the street and would see more shoppers walk by his shop window.

Aleksander Rybka, director of Maguire's newsagents, which operates outside of College Green, said he expected business to improve following the plans.

"We are expecting there to be a good flow from the Luas, so we expect business to be good," he said.

Launched last June, the Dublin City Centre Transport Plan said that something needed to be done as traffic congestion in the city was expected to increase by 20pc by 2023.

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