The Taoiseach has said he has “reservations” about plans to ban cars from a range of new areas in Dublin – increasing space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
The new Draft Transport Plan for the capital aims to make Dublin city centre a low-traffic environment – taking out two in three cars that do not have a destination in the city.
The plan, published on Wednesday, includes removing traffic from the College Green area and pedestrianising Parliament Street.
Sections of quays on both sides of the river will also be given over the cyclists, pedestrians and public transport – with a new plaza proposed for Custom House Quay or Beresford Place.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast at the Fine Gael think-in in Limerick this morning, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he has concerns about the plan.
“I think it needs a lot of thought,” he said. “I'd have reservations about it.”
“I'd absolutely encourage people of Dublin to get involved in the public consultation and let their views be known.
“I accept the principle behind it, which is more space in our streets for pedestrians, for cyclists, cleaner air, less through traffic through the city, but there's lots of people that need to get into the city and there are lots of people, including most of my constituents, who live in the suburbs and pushing traffic into the suburbs so it doesn't go through the city has consequences.
“I do [have concerns]. I'm not against the fact that this plan has been put forward, by the way, but it is it is only now going to public consultation and I'd really encourage people to get involved in that because I know what comes out at the end is not the plan we're seeing today.”
The draft plan would see cars removed from sections of the North and South Quays – with new infrastructure for public transport, walking and cycling installed instead.
There will also be new traffic arrangements on Westland Row, which will allow for further space for walkers and cyclists on Pearse Street, Tara Street, Beresford Place and Gardiner Street.
The Dublin City Centre Transport Plan 2023 was published on Wednesday.
It is now open for public consultation until Friday, December 1st.