Revamp for Grafton Street quarter

Pedestrian-friendly plan discourages cars around Grafton Street

A major upgrade is underway on Dublin's premiere shopping thoroughfare, the pedestrianised Grafton St, including works on the surrounding streets and lanes. The three-year €14 million Grafton Street Quarter Public Realm Plan scheme involves reducing traffic and on-street parking in the area of Grafton Street area as well as widening pavements and developing street cafes.

Central to the plan is the "rebalancing" of the district in favour of pedestrians and, although cars won't be banned completely, the council says they will be "discouraged."

The greatest transformation will be around the deconsecrated St Andrew's church, now used as a tourist office, at the corner of St Andrew Street and Suffolk Street. The church's existing railings will be removed and the grounds developed as a park with outdoor restaurant space.

Traffic will be restricted on St Andrew Street as well as on Duke Steet and South Anne Street. The St Stephen's Green end of Grafton Street is to become free of traffic with the exception of the Luas tram.

The council's plan is in addition to the ongoing renovation works on Grafton Street where 1983 red-brown paving is being replaced with grey and pink granite paving. Some members of the public have complained that the new paving is already stained but Dublin city council says it will be cleaned thoroughly once the development is complete by November 2014.