Cars set to retain access to part of Capel Street

Liffey Street plaza plan requires southern end of Capel Street “to be kept open” to traffic

Part of Capel Street will have to be kept open to traffic to facilitate a new €6.5 million pedestrian plaza beside the Ha'penny bridge, Dublin city councillors have been told.

Three years ago the council proposed a traffic ban on Liffey Street Lower, between Strand Street and the quays, to create a pedestrian plaza with seating and planting opposite the Ha'penny Bridge.

Traffic on Abbey Street, including cars exiting the Arnotts car park, would no longer be able to access the quays via Liffey Street Lower, but would instead have to turn right into Strand Street and continue to Capel Street to reach the quayside at Grattan Bridge.

However, since then as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the council implemented trial pedestrianisation measures on Capel Street, and last summer banned traffic from the street from 6.30pm to 11.30pm at weekends.

A subsequent public consultation process found almost 80 per cent were in favour of pedestrianising Capel Street on a permanent basis.

On Tuesday senior council engineer Joe Kelly told councillors the section of Capel Street between Strand Street and the quays "has to be kept open" to traffic. "In relation to the pedestrianisation of Capel Street that is the impact it has."

Work on the Liffey plaza is due to start in May and will continue for 12 months, Mr Kelly said.

Councillors will next week be briefed on the options for Capel Street, which will take in the requirements of the Liffey plaza scheme.