City traders call for proposed Luas stop to be reinstated
A photomontage showing the proposed Luas tracks on Dawson Street in Dublin
Traders in and around Dublin’s Dawson Street have called on Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to ensure that a proposed stop for the Luas cross-city line is reinstated even though this would mean more disruption during construction.
The northbound stop on Dawson Street planned by the Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) was omitted by An Bord Pleanála when it approved a railway order for the €370 million project last August due to potential conflicts with other traffic.
The traders say they recognise the benefits that Luas could bring to the Grafton Street area, the city’s public transport system and the broader common good “notwithstanding that they will face very real challenges to their business during the construction phase”.
In a letter to Mr Varadkar on their behalf, planning consultants MacCabe Durney Barnes said the project was planned not only to connect the two existing Luas lines but also to provide “greater penetration of the city” with frequent stops.
“The omission of the northbound stop on Dawson Street will remove the most important stop for patrons from south Dublin area visiting the retail core area of Grafton Street, Government Buildings, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the National Museum and National Gallery.”
As the stop proposed for Dawson Street would have been only a three-minute walk from all of these facilities as well as Trinity College its omission would be “of no benefit to shoppers, tourists, commuters and students”, the letter says.
There would be a “very significant gap” between the St Stephen’s Green and Westmoreland Street stops.
It says “the objective of increasing penetration of the city centre and connecting the Grafton Street and Henry Street shopping areas will be significantly undermined”.
The letter notes that “one or two” businesses immediately adjacent to the proposed Dawson Street stop objected to it on the grounds that it would impact upon amenities and on their business. Others constituted “the silent majority”.
During the oral hearing into the railway order, An Bord Pleanála requested the RPA to consider relocating the proposed northbound stop to an island platform combining with the southbound stop.
The RPA, National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus did not favour this option as it would result in shared running with ordinary traffic and conflict with bus services. The board shared these concerns.