College Green pedestrianisation pushed back to 2024

Plans for traffic-free plaza first proposed in 2015 but rejected by planning board in 2018

The pedestrianisation of College Green will not begin until 2024, six years after Dublin City Council's last plans for the civic plaza were rejected by An Bord Pleanála.

The council in November of last year published new plans for the pedestrian and cycle plaza, which would see the traffic-free zone double in size from previous designs.

The new plaza would run from College Green to the junction of Dame Street and South Great George's Street, with buses, cars and taxis banned from just west of the Luas line in front of Trinity College for a distance of 350m and deliveries permitted until 11am only.

The council at the time said it intended to submit a fresh application to An Bord Pleanála for the scheme by last summer.


However, councillors were told on Wednesday the council would instead engage a team of consultants early next year to prepare the application and would “hopefully” lodge a planning application by the end of next year.


"In 2023 we would hopefully be getting planning and going through a procurement process for a contractor with a view to being in a position to start work on College Green in early 2024," Frank Lambe, senior executive officer with the council, said.

This timeframe would tie in with the implementation of the BusConnects programme in the College Green area, he said.

The previous plans for the plaza were rejected by An Bord Pleanála in 2018, due to concerns about the “significantly negative impacts” it would have on bus movements and on traffic, particularly on the city quays.

The National Transport Authority in September 2020 published its final plans for a redesigned bus network for the city. Under these plans buses were routed away from the College Green and east Dame Street area to facilitate the plaza.

Smooth running

The council has been preparing plans for the plaza since 2015 and has said the creation of the traffic-free space was essential to the smooth running of the Luas Green line that began operations through the city centre in December 2017.

It submitted an application for the plaza to the board in May 2017. A planning hearing was scheduled for January 2018 but, days before it was due to begin, the hearing had to be postponed because of errors in a newspaper notice published by the council, on the board’s instruction, the previous November.

The hearing was rescheduled for March, and did go ahead, but took three weeks instead of the scheduled three days. A decision was due in April 2018, but after several postponements the board rejected the plans in November 2018. The council at the time said it would submit a new application the following year.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times