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By Chamber Press Office, 17 October 2018
Dublin Chamber today said it was unsurprised by An Bord Pleanala's decision to refuse permission for a pedestrian plaza at Dublin's College Green, but has challenged planners to come up with a fresh proposal that will allow for a plaza to become a reality.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen: "Dublin Chamber has always been supportive of the concept of a pedestrianised plaza at College Green, but we were never convinced by the plans that were put forward. Our position was always one of qualified support, but repeated calls for stronger traffic analysis were never answered, It is unsurprising, therefore, that An Bord Pleanala have decided against the proposals. We remain supportive of more pedestrianised areas in Dublin. We absolutely need them. But increased public transport investment and proper planning is required to allow for that to be possible."
Dublin Chamber said that An Bord Pleanala's decision recognised many of the concerns that had been raised by the business community, including a lack of information and analysis regarding the capability of the surrounding areas to accommodate displaced commuters and traffic, particularly buses.
Mr McQueen said: "This is decision should not be seen as a victory for anyone. The traffic situation in Dublin, particularly around the core city centre, remains a daily problem for Dubliners that is significantly eroding peoples' quality of life. The Bord's decision is a result of decades of poor planning and significant under-investment in the city's public transport network. The decision to repeatedly kick key projects such as Metro North and Dart Underground down the road is now coming home to roost. Having those pieces of infrastructure in place would make projects such as a plaza at College Green more possible."