Temporary social distancing measure could persist for a long time - Dublin City Council

Temporary social distancing measure could persist for a long time - Dublin City Council

The head of Dublin City Council (DCC) says the local authority will deal with legal challenges brought against emergency Covid-19 measures.

Footpaths have been widened and more cycle tracks added in the capital while there are proposals to temporarily close College Green and ban cars from certain areas after 11am.

Chief executive of DCC, Owen Keegan, told councillors last night that the measures are needed for social distancing.

"It is important that we are sensitive to the needs of businesses," said Mr Keegan.

"We believe that there are alternative, satisfactory loading facilities but we could be a bit more proactive in making sure that they are aware of those.

"There has been one or two legal challenges, I intend that we deal with those. These are being put in as emergency measures."

The Irish Parking Association (IPA) has accused DCC of using the Covid-19 pandemic to ram through changes which it has described as anti-business.

Keith Gavin, chairperson of the IPA, says it will do serious damage to businesses that are already struggling.

"We find it really hard to believe that the council are using the cover of the pandemic to ram through these proposals that they have long tried for," said Mr Gavin.

"These measures are simply anti-car and anti-business."

Mr Keegan says there has been demand from the public for the changes.

"I think it's appropriate when the roadspace isn't being used that we respond to it.

"We expect that there will be an ongoing requirement for social distancing so these are temporary but temporary could persist for quite a long time."

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