Capel Street and Parliament Street to be pedestrianised on weekend nights

Six-week trial planned while businesses appeal for removal of loading bays on full-time basis

Cars will be banned on Parliament Street, from 6.30pm to 11.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 11th until July 18th, to facilitate outdoor dining. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cars will be banned on Parliament Street, from 6.30pm to 11.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 11th until July 18th, to facilitate outdoor dining. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Capel Street and Parliament Street in Dublin city centre will be fully pedestrianised on weekend nights for a six-week trial under new plans from Dublin City Council.

Cars will be banned from the streets, which face each other over the river Liffey at Grattan Bridge, from 6.30pm to 11.30pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from June 11th until July 18th, to facilitate outdoor dining.

The council is already eliminating almost all on-street parking on Capel Street to create space for tables and chairs when Covid-19 restrictions ease and is also pedestrianising a 60m section of the northern end of the street between Parnell Street and Ryder’s Row.

However, businesses on Parliament Street are appealing to the city council to facilitate outdoor dining by restricting traffic to one lane and removing loading bays on a full-time basis.

All 19 businesses on the street have signed a petition urging the council to widen the footpath on the street to allow for tables and chairs, by reducing the traffic lanes from two to one, and removing the street’s two loading bays.

The businesses, all but three of which are hospitality based, said increasing pedestrian space would relieve the pressure on nearby South William Street and would represent a natural continuation of the footpath widening work on Capel Street.

However, the group said they have been unable to secure a commitment from the council to put the measures in place.

Paul Keville from Stoned Pizza on Dublin’s Parliament Street is one of the businessmen lobbying for wider footpaths and restrictions on traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson
Paul Keville from Stoned Pizza on Dublin’s Parliament Street is one of the businessmen lobbying for wider footpaths and restrictions on traffic. Photograph: Alan Betson

“Parliament Street is a hospitality street, it’s a small, one-way street predominantly made up of bars, cafes and restaurants, which have all been severely hit by the pandemic,” Paul Keville, who runs Stoned Pizza restaurant, said.

For most of the length of the street the footpaths were not currently wide enough for tables and chairs. The two loading bays were too short to facilitate the trucks that serve the pubs and restaurants on the street, with delivery drivers generally parking on side streets he said, and were mostly used by motorists parking illegally.

Requisitioning these spaces for outdoor furniture would, “offer a lifeline for us”, he said.

“We have put together a carefully considered and thought-out proposal that would maximise the widening of footpaths on Parliament Street, allowing businesses to avail of outside seating, while not harming the Dublin Bus public transport link or hindering emergency service access”.

In an email to Mr Keville early last week the council said it was “very keen to facilitate business as much as possible and will do everything we can to support your efforts”. However, it said there was a “cost aspect” to the proposal “as well as very simply finding staff resources to implement the work”. It added there were also “certain difficulties from a public transport network perspective” that had to be considered.