Council has one month to respond to College Green plaza concerns

NTA and Dublin Bus say DCC proposals to ban all traffic from area are premature

The proposed College Green civic space

The proposed College Green civic space

 

An Bord Pleanála has given Dublin City Council one more month to reassess its plans for a new €10 million civic plaza at College Green.

The planning board ordered the council to undertake a “comprehensive assessment” of proposed traffic changes for the plaza following submissions from Dublin Bus, the National Transport Authority (NTA), Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and city business interests.

Dublin Bus wants to keep running buses through College Green, which the council wants to reserve for pedestrians and cyclists only.

The council in February last year announced its intention to turn the area in front of the Bank of Ireland on College Green into a civic plaza, banning all traffic access to and from Dame Street.

It had initially intended to have the plaza in place ahead of the start of operations of the new Luas Cross City this December. However, it did not submit its plans to An Bord Pleanála until May and the planning board is not expected to issue a decision until November at the earliest. Construction of the plaza would take up to 18 months, the council said.

The assessment, ordered by the board, should include how traffic changes will effect individual streets, access to homes and businesses, including car parks, as well as details of current journey times for buses and other traffic over a distance stretching form Heuston Station to Shelbourne Park greyhound stadium in Ringsend, and from the Mater hospital to Leeson Street Bridge.

“The assessment shall address the wider city implications of removing traffic from College Green and the adequacy of infrastructure.” the board said.

The council must respond to the NTA and Dublin Bus concerns that its proposals were “premature” pending the ongoing redesign of bus services in the city, as well as the bus company’s concern that buses would be prevented from travelling west-east through College Green.

It must also respond to concerns about the “lack of segregated cycle facilities” creating potential conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians and the Luas, raised by the NTA and Dublin Bus, TII and Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

The council has until October 20th to respond to the board.