Thursday, 16 July 2020

Questions (84)

Neasa Hourigan

Question:

84. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the rationale for the decision by the Office of Public Works to reverse the closure of the peripheral gates of the Phoenix Park; when a public consultation process will take place on the future of the perimeter gates of the Park; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16322/20]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Phoenix Park is a wonderful resource for all recreational users, both local and national. The issue of traffic through the Park, and in particular by which gates traffic should be admitted , is a complex one with arguments on both sides as to whether the peripheral gates, which had been closed due to the pandemic in consultation with An Garda Síochána, ought to remain closed to traffic or not. Having weighed up the arguments I concluded that the correct course of action for now, was to re-open the perimeter gates.

This decision was based on an increase in the volume of traffic in the neighbouring areas surrounding the Park to which the gate closures have in part contributed. In fact, a further increase in traffic volume in the coming weeks and months with the escalation of the returning workforce within the City and the re-opening of Schools might be anticipated.

The OPW and I are committed to engaging in a consultation process on the Phoenix Park Traffic Management Strategy, involving all stakeholders, to create a balanced approach to access to the Park, for all users. This process is expected to take place during August/September of this year and will ultimately inform the appropriate sustainable solutions to traffic management in the Phoenix Park in the short, medium and long term.