Plans for a €7.8 million facelift for the area between Grafton Street and Dawson Street, first announced almost a decade ago, will be published by Dublin City Council within weeks.
The scheme aims to capitalise on the pedestrianisation of South Anne Street area during the Covid-19 pandemic, with new paving, trees and additional planting, public seating, reduction in the road width, restrictions on cars, and limits on deliveries.
Following trials in 2020, cars were permanently banned from a number of areas around Grafton Street in May of last year. While most of these areas were to the west of Grafton Street, South Anne Street between Grafton Street and Dawson Street, was also pedestrianised.
The council said it cannot fully pedestrianise the other streets in this area, including Duke Street, due to the presence of private car parks. However, it plans to significantly restrict private traffic and prevent day-long deliveries to businesses.
Under the plan deliveries in all the streets in the area including South Anne Street, Duke Street, Duke Lane and Anne’s Lane will be permitted from 6am to 11am only – the same time period permitted on fully pedestrianised streets such as Grafton Street.
Access to car parks, including the RIAC car park on Anne’s Lane and a building compound and car parks off Duke Street, will be maintained. However, cars would only be allowed into the area to access these facilities, except for cars displaying disability “blue badges”. These cars would be permitted into the area for “drop-off” purposes the council said, and to access a single accessible parking bay on Duke Street.
The council’s plans will be published and available for submissions in the coming weeks. It will then move to detailed design, expected to take up to 12 months. A two-year construction phase is envisaged, with the project due for completion by December 2025. A €7.8 million budget has been approved for the works, with construction costs accounting for €5.3 million.
The scheme was originally part of the Grafton Street Quarter Public Realm Plan, published in October 2013, which envisaged a €14 million investment over three years in the area between Dawson Street and South Great George’s Street.
The repaving of Grafton Street was completed in 2015 and work then began on the streets to its west including part of Wicklow Street and Harry Street and Balfe Street which leads to the Westbury Hotel. Work was recently completed on Chatham Street, but significant elements remain unrealised, including a civic plaza and urban park at St Andrew’s Church at the junction of St Andrew’s Street and Trinity Street, the repaving of South William Street and Drury Street, as well as the redevelopment of the streets to the east of Grafton Street.