LOWER GEORGE’S Street in Dún Laoghaire is to be “depedestrianised” as part of a new traffic management plan for the town.
The depedestrianisation, which Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council acknowledges is unusual, will see private cars return to the street by early September, for the first time in 10 years. The move will be reviewed after 18 months.
According to the council, the impetus for the change came through 45 responses to a public consultation with business and community groups in the town.
Many submissions claimed complicated detours were deterring shoppers, while there was a perception that Dún Laoghaire was difficult to access by car.
Following a review, the council concluded that allowing cars back on Lower George’s Street would provide direct access to the shopping area west of Bloomfields Shopping Centre, and might improve retail trade in the area generally. It was also argued the move would provide an element of “passive security” during the evening and night.
The council claimed that by providing direct access to Dún Laoghaire, it would reduce rat- running through the Cross Avenue residential area. It was said that the proposed quality bus corridor network from Cherrywood would provide priority access by public transportation into the town.
The council also said it was rare to see pedestrians walking on the cobbled surface on George’s Street Lower, while the fact that buses travel down the street made it unfriendly to pedestrians.
However, the move has annoyed local Green Party TD Ciarán Cuffe, who said the street was currently an “oasis of calm”.
“I think the move shows a lack of vision on the part of the elected members – with the exception of the Green councillors who voted against it,” he said.