It has been clear throughout the Covid 19 pandemic and restrictions just how important the Phoenix Park is to the people of Dublin and beyond. To some of us it has always been a special place in need of protection. Now many thousands more Dubliners understand how important it is and the need to protect it while also making it more accessible and safer. It has been really encouraging to see the efforts made by the OPW to make the Park safer for pedestrians and cyclists during this time.
On Friday the 29th January 2021 Minister O’Donovan (Minister of State for the OPW) announced the commencement of the Phoenix Park Transport and Mobility Options Public Consultation. You can view the study and make your submissions at http://phoenixpark.virtualeventspace.io/ The consultation is online only, which means that many people may not be aware of it, so if you know of neighbours/friends who are not online please share with them. The consultation runs for six weeks with a closing date of Friday 12th March 2021.
This is the third traffic study in recent times. The first study was compiled by Faber Maunsel in 2006. The second was in 2018. We heard no details from this study and to our knowledge it was never published. The third is this present Mobility Study.
We have always been of the opinion that the Phoenix Park is not the place for a public bus service due to the dangers of bus routes being run through all parts of the Park. Also such service might be in danger of privatisation. BUT we would welcome the return of the Phoenix Park Shuttle Bus, travelling out to Heuston Station to pick up visitors from elsewhere and removing the need to drive. This shuttle bus was a hail and ride system, so people could get on or off wherever they chose and it was free. The problem with the original shuttle bus was that it was confined to the Park and did not travel to Heuston Station to pick up visitors using the train and/or the Luas. Although we did suggest this at the time.
We are aware of two online public meetings on the proposals. The first we heard of is being held by Deputy Neasa Hourigan on Monday, 15th February at 7pm, which you can sign up to here: https://neasahourigan.com/post/park-options/ Please feel free to share with anyone who may be interested.
The second is being held by Senator Emer Currie. You can register by emailing her at email@example.com. Unfortunately, it will be also be held on Monday 15th at 7pm. Tanaiste Leo Varadkar will also attend, subject to Government business.
We are urging as many people as possible to read the Mobility Plan and to make submissions and comments by the closing date of Friday 12th March 2021.