Capel Street should be fully pedestrianised, public survey finds

More than 80 per cent of respondents to city council survey would like to see car ban

Outdoor dining on Capel Street in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Outdoor dining on Capel Street in Dublin’s city centre. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Capel Street in Dublin city centre should be fully pedestrianised on a permanent basis according to almost 80 per cent of respondents to a city council survey on the future of the street.

Almost 7,000 people responded to the council’s survey last month with 79 per cent saying they wanted the street to be traffic-free for its entire length.

However, the council said while the consultation showed a “strong desire” for “options to be explored which reduce or eliminate vehicular traffic” there would be no car ban on street this year.

Cars were banned from Capel Street and Parliament Street, which face each other over the river Liffey at Grattan Bridge, from 6.30pm to 11.30pm at weekends during the summer.

The consultation process sought views on a number of options for both streets including retaining the current weekday arrangements, whereby traffic is permitted but car parking spaces and loading bays are requisitioned for outdoor dining; a full return to the pre-pandemic arrangements with the reinstatement of parking and traffic lanes; or the full or part pedestrianisation of the streets, at weekend nights, every weeknight, or on a full-time basis.

Full pedestrianisation was the most popular option for both streets, with 87 per cent wanting Parliament Street, which is around one quarter of the length of Capel Street, to be traffic free.

Despite the strong support for pedestrianisation, the council said further consideration of the implications of car restrictions was required, with councillors to be briefed on “potential options” in the first three months of next year.

“It is clear that from the residents, businesses and the general public that there is a strong desire to see a change from the current traffic arrangements to new arrangements with less traffic,” the council said.

However it said restrictions on cars would have “an effect on residents, businesses and traffic in the area so a more detailed assessment on potential measures is required”.

The council said it intended to further explore a number of options for both streets including banning cars in the evening only, ahead of the “potential trialling” of one or more options.