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By Press Office, 14 August 2020
Dublin Chamber has welcomed the decision by Dublin City Council to extend the pedestrianisation trials in the Grafton Street area of Dublin until the end of August.
The Chamber said that the trials have worked well over the past three weekends, resulting in positive feedback from businesses and a welcome increase in footfall numbers.
The Chamber is encouraging Dublin City Council to look at extending the trials further into September and to consider pedestrianising more streets on both the south and north sides of the Liffey in an effort to further support businesses in the city and to increase consumer confidence.
The Chamber said it would also like to see the pedestrianisation trials introduced midweek, with footfall numbers and trading levels remaining significantly down in the Monday-Thursday period.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Communications Graeme McQueen: "The pedestrianisation trials have so far proved to be a win-win for everyone. The past three weekends have seen a notable increase in footfall levels and feedback from both visitors and businesses has been very positive. However, the pressure on businesses in the city centre remains high, with the numbers of people visiting the city still significantly down on where they would typically be at this time of year. Although we've seen a positive shift in numbers over the past three weekends, the level of activity midweek is still very subdued and efforts need to be focused on enticing more people to visit Dublin city centre."
Mr McQueen added: "We think there is good potential for these trials to be extended into September and possibly beyond. Businesses in the city centre need help. The pedestrianisation trials have brought about a welcome increase in the number of people coming in to the city centre to shop and socialise, but numbers are still well down on where they would have been pre-Covid. This is the case on both the north and south side of the city centre. The trials in the Grafton Street area have proved successful so far and it makes sense that we’d now start exploring other streets and areas for similar initiatives. Ultimately, these measures are being taken to better allow for social distancing and to help people feel safe. We believe that more pedestrianisation will give people confidence to visit the city centre. Encouraging more people and families into the city centre and getting more people back in shopping is going to help businesses and that in turn is going to save jobs."