Private cars are to be permanently banned from College Green from the end of the month as part of new traffic regulations announced by Dublin City Council (DCC).
The College Green Pathfinder Project will see the implementation of a 24/7 bus corridor, exclusively for the use of public transport, which at present operates 12 hours a day on weekdays only.
The scheme aims to allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists while also alleviating traffic congestion on College Green.
Dame Street and Foster Place will also see an increase in footpath space, in the hopes of facilitating the enhancement of Foster Place, “a hidden gem in the heart of the city”.
DCC said of Foster Place: “Nestled between some of the city’s most historic buildings, including the Bank of Ireland and the Irish Stock Exchange, the area will become a more inviting public space with planters and public seating.”
Much of Foster Place and College Green is owned by College and used as office spaces.
DCC also plans to reduce taxi spaces at Foster Place and increase the number of taxis at the main College Green rank. The Disabled Parking Bay on Foster Place will be kept in place.
According to the council, over half a million pedestrians and 2 million passengers on public transport travel through the College Green bus gate weekly, as compared to “just 27,000 private vehicles”.
The new traffic measures hope to “reallocate the road space exclusively to sustainable modes of transport” which currently applies to 97% of the journeys through College Green.
Caroline Conroy, Lord Mayor of Dublin said: “The traffic management measures will improve public transport times, as well as creating a more relaxing and inviting environment to enjoy our historic city centre.”
“This is in accordance with the objective for College Green in the development plan 2022-2028,” Conroy concluded.
The Pathfinder Programme was originally launched by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan in October of 2022. It is made up of 25 model transport projects which aspire to demonstrate the usefulness of public spaces over the next 3 years.
“The Pathfinder Programme is all about accelerating transport projects that can deliver tangible and sustainable changes for communities” said Minister Ryan.
“These interventions will do just that; contributing towards a more liveable and enjoyable city.”
This follows the rejection of the College Green plaza plans in 2018 by an Bord Pleanála due to concerns about negative impacts on bus routes.
All traffic measures and work on Foster Place will begin as of Monday, May 29.