DublinTown Expresses Concern with Partial Pedestrian Plans Announced by Dublin City Council
DublinTown, the business group representing 2,500 businesses in Dublin City Centre, has expressed its concern with the partial pedestrian plans announced by Dublin City Council today. The limited and partial plans do not reflect the wishes of the majority of the business community or the wider public. The position regarding South William Street is a particular case in point. Before the pandemic DublinTown commissioned Red C to test sentiment towards the street’s potential pedestrianisation with the public in a statistically reliable survey. Dublin Town also surveyed the business community. The proposal was overwhelmingly supported by both. This positive sentiment is likely to have increased during the pandemic.
Key findings of DublinTown’s research included:
- Two thirds of businesses have told Dublin Town that they want South William Street pedestrianised. This is not a consensus opinion but a significant majority view.
- The public by a factor of 4 to 1 want the street pedestrianised.
- 20% of city customers drive to the city. A small minority (17%) of those car drivers said they would stop visiting the city if their car park of choice was less accessible. Of that 17%, the majority are those least likely to visit the city. They tend not to be city customers.
- Consumer surveys confirm that the creation of pedestrian zones in the city will significantly increase spend by customers. Pedestrianisation is most favoured by high spending ABC1’s.
Part pedestrianisation of streets is confusing for customers and may act as a deterrent to their full use of city streets. It is also confusing and frustrating for businesses who need access to the street for outdoor dining and queueing.
Dubliners love their city and want it to survive. They know that many businesses will not make it through the pandemic and that those surviving are financial vulnerable. They want them and their city to return to full strength. All parties including Dublin City Council have to play their part to give struggling businesses a fighting chance.
This is the first test of Dublin City Council’s proposals for the re-opening of the city. Businesses are asking, is the Council willing and able to test its own rhetoric and policies in the cold light of commercial reality? Is it prepared to work and engage with businesses to help as many of them as possible survive this current crisis?
The future of Dublin City Centre can be bright. The public have amassed savings. The unique offering and experience of the city, is precisely the attraction they want. However, Dublin city centre businesses have experienced the hardest economic knocks of the pandemic. Many streets will face large levels of vacancy on re-opening. We must do everything possible to help those businesses who can open to continue to trade, continue to provide employment and we must also encourage new and appropriate investment. This can only be done where there is a genuine willingness to listen and engage and to provide the public with the city that they are calling for. Decision makers must listen.
Notes to Editor:
Excerpts from DublinTown RedC research
DublinTown is the collective voice of businesses in Dublin city centre, working to create a better city experience for all. They promote the city centre as the ultimate destination of choice for shopping and socialising while also improving the district through additional cleaning, graffiti removal, floral planting and other initiatives. DublinTown makes the city centre better by connecting influential people in authority with its 2,500 business members. They are advocates using examples and evidence to drive change.