Plans for return of lost Luas stop on Dawson Street

Railway Procurement Agency seeks reinstatement of stop for cross city line

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) is seeking permission to replace the Luas stop refused by the planning board near the entrance to the Royal Hibernian Way with a new stop outside Hodges Figgis bookshop. Photograph: David Sleator/THE IRISH TIMES

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) is seeking permission to replace the Luas stop refused by the planning board near the entrance to the Royal Hibernian Way with a new stop outside Hodges Figgis bookshop. Photograph: David Sleator/THE IRISH TIMES

 

Plans to reinstate a northbound stop on Dawson Street for the new Luas Cross City line will be lodged with An Bord Pleanála in the coming weeks.

The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) is seeking permission to replace the tram stop refused by the planning board near the entrance to the Royal Hibernian Way with a new stop outside Hodges Figgis bookshop.

An Bord Pleanála in August 2012 granted permission for the new Luas line which will run from St Stephen’s Green to Cabra and connect the existing Red and Green lines. However, it refused permission for a stop heading north on Dawson Street.

A small number of Dawson Street businesses, supported by then Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) chairman Tom Coffey, had objected to the stop because of its proximity to their premises.

During the planning hearing the board asked the RPA to consider relocating the proposed northbound stop to an island platform. The RPA, Dublin City Council, the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus did not favour this option as it would result in shared running with ordinary traffic and conflict with bus services.

Outlining the reason for refusing the stop the board said it considered the “character and attractiveness” of Dawson Street would be unduly compromised by it. Taken in conjunction with existing bus stops, the stop would also create an “excessive level of pedestrian congestion to the detriment of the street’s commercial viability,” it said.

Lobbied RPA

Since that decision, business interests in the area have lobbied the RPA to apply to the board to reinstate the stop. The agency has agreed and intends to lodge plans for the new stop next month.

The northbound stops at St Stephen’s Green and Westmoreland Street are almost a kilometre apart and the proposed Dawson Street stop would bridge this gap, a spokeswoman for Luas Cross City said.

The proposed stop has the support of the Business Improvement District organisation and the DCBA. “I would strongly support the plans for this stop, and I think it was folly it was left out in the first place,” DCBA chairman David Brennan said.