Dublin retailers urge city council to reconsider transport plan


Moore Street market, Dublin, tags: retailers city transport - CC BY-SA

The concerns retailers have about the Dublin Transport Plan are “easy to address”, according to the Minister calling for it to be paused.

Emer Higgins, who is the Minister of State for Business, Employment, and Retail, has voiced her support for delaying the implementation of the Dublin City Transport Plan until at least the year 2025.

Cars will be prohibited from entering a variety of new areas within the city as a result of the plan, and the space will be available to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation instead.

In addition to the new civic plazas that will be constructed at the Custom House and Lincoln Place, portions of the quays on both sides of the river will be made available to cyclists, pedestrians, and public transportation.

Following her conversation with “concerned” retailers in Dublin’s city center, Deputy Higgins said she requested the delay.

She stated that she is the Minister who is responsible for retail, and that during her first Retail Forum, the Dublin City Transport Plan was the most pressing issue that retailers were concerned about.

I’m the Minister with responsibility for retail and at my first Retail Forum, the number one issue of concern to retailers was the Dublin City Transport Plan

Emer Higgins

Higgins went on to say that she took action in response to those concerns by arranging a meeting with the Retail Forum and the Dublin City Council. She also added that the meeting was “productive,” and as far as retailers are concerned, all they want from DCC is “meaningful engagement.”

It has also been suggested by some retailers that this would be more appropriate to do after the holiday season.

They have been operating in such a state of uncertainty over the past few years due to COVID, the prices of energy, and a decrease in foot traffic as a result of changes in working patterns. In addition, they are concerned about the possibility of additional uncertainty in the period leading up to their busiest season.

Furthermore, “phased” implementation of the traffic plan was one of the potential options that were discussed at the retail forum, according to Deputy Higgins, who stated that the forum explored various possibilities.

Deputy Higgins said some of the inquiries were concerning the actual timeframe that it takes into consideration when conducting its operations. She stated that it is the kind of concerns that she is referring to, which she believes are really simple to address if we have conversations about them.

I really do hope that we’re going to get a win for everybody here – we get to a situation where this plan is rolled out and it’s rolled out in a way that protects jobs.

Emer Higgins

Transportation problems in Dublin

Presenter Shane Coleman remarked earlier today that the same individuals who currently oppose the traffic plan would have likely been against the pedestrianization of Grafton Street as well.

He emphasized his perspective as a resident of Dublin City Centre, expressing his frustration with the priority given to cars and drivers. Coleman called for a shift in focus, advocating for the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users to be put first.

The transport plan has already undergone public consultation, revealing that over 80% of respondents support the initiative to reduce car traffic in the city centre. This overwhelming support underscores the public’s desire for a more pedestrian-friendly and environmentally sustainable urban environment.

However, not everyone agrees with the plan’s immediate implementation.

Deputy Higgins has called for a delay, a move the Dublin Commuter Coalition has criticized as “an absolutely unacceptable ministerial overreach.” They argued that any delay would undermine the strong public mandate for the proposed changes and hinder progress toward a more livable city.

Coleman’s remarks and the public’s support highlight a significant shift in urban planning priorities, aiming to create a more balanced and accessible Dublin for all its residents.

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