The Lord Mayor of Dublin says pedestrianisation has “brought new life and energy” to parts of the city centre.
Dublin City Council yesterday announced the weekend pedestrianisation of Capel Street and Parliament Street is being extended for four weeks.
The change was made earlier this summer in a bid to make more room available for outdoor dining and socialising.
The council initially announced the trial would end this weekend, but announced an extension after 24 hours of public criticism over the decision to halt the initiative.
Publican Panti Bliss - who operates Panti Bar on Capel Street - said the move was a “stay of execution”, but businesses in the area now want the pedestrianisation to be permanent.
On Newstalk Breakfast, Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland said she “very much welcomes” the extension.
She said: “Yesterday shows how local councils and Dublin City Council management can work together to speedily respond to public affirmation of what is a great scheme, that’s brought new life and energy to the streets.
“Now we’ve extended it for another four weeks.”
Work is now underway to see whether the local support is there for a longer-term change.
Mayor Gilliland explained: “We had built in an evaluation which is commencing this Monday. If the public affirmation we have received over the last 24 hours is anything to go by, we should [see] there is formal recognition that this is a good thing.
“That will allow us to scope out long-term pedestrianisation for the area.”
The Lord Mayor said she would "absolutely" like to see pedestrianisation extended to other streets, but she and other councillors “want to work in collaboration with the public and key stakeholders”.
Similar pedestrianisation trials have been carried out around Liffey Street Lower and on several streets near Grafton Street.
Mayor Gilliland noted that Parliament Street is set to be part of bus routes under the BusConnects plan, so work will need to be done to see if and how that would work with long-term pedestrianisation of the area.