06 September 2009

Urgent Review of Dublin 'Bus Gate' demanded

Dublin city centre businesses have called for an urgent review of the car-free zone at College Green, claiming it has "caused a serious decline in trade".

A hastily arranged meeting of business people in the city heard that Thursday night trade in particular has been badly affected by the 'bus gate'. (Thursday is still the day when most Irish people receive their weekly wages, and various social welfare payments are made on Thursdays as well.)

The operator of the Brown Thomas car park said that "trade is down 75% in the evenings".

The Dublin 'bus gate' came into operation at the end of July, banning private cars from passing Trinity College during morning and evening rush hours.

Dublin City Council has promised a review of the situation next January.

However, Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Breen said that "many shop workers could be on the dole by then".

A spokesman for Dublin City Council declared it will "look at ways of encouraging shoppers who travel in cars into the city".
He said that it seemed the 'bus gate' had been "a success for bus passengers and pedestrians".

But, as in so many other Irish cities and towns, a reduction of traffic in city centres also means a reduction of business there.

The Emerald Islander

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