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February 18, 2013

DCC Statement on Cork Hill Carbuncle

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The full text of a statement from Dublin City Council: “A temporary traffic management structure has been erected adjacent to City Hall at the junction of Lord Edward Street/ Cork Hill. It has three flagpoles erected on top and two plaques referencing City Hall and Dublin Castle. As the structure is temporary it was designed to minimise excavation and ground disturbance.

The structure is intended to change traffic behaviour at this location as a precursor to the development of permanent design proposals for this area. The proposed permanent works will be the subject of a Part 8 process to be considered by the City Council. The present structure will be removed and replaced by the proposals when approved.

The impetus for the temporary proposal came from discussions with the OPW when they requested assistance in their management of Castle Street as a forecourt to the Upper Yard of Dublin Castle during Ireland’s presidency of the EU. These traffic management issues had been identified as more urgent due to the increased volumes of traffic arising from the use of Dublin Castle during EU Presidency.

The temporary structure was discussed with a number of departments internally including the Conservation Office and while acknowledging its temporary nature were most concerned to ensure that the permanent proposals would be fully discussed and developed in the context of the Part 8 process. Whereas the present temporary structure deals primarily with the issue of traffic management and pedestrian safety, there are a number of other issues relating to this general area which will have to be addressed by the permanent proposals.

Dublin City Council Roads Design Department had carried out a feasibility study on traffic and pedestrian management on Castle Street which proposed significant footpath widening at the junction of Castle Street and Dame Street. This work will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is desirable to provide a fully accessible main entrance to City Hall (present disabled access is via the lower ground floor café entrance at Bernardo Square) The provision of universal access to City Hall is achievable on the Cork Hill elevation, subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. Equally the provision of disability access to the Rates Office is achievable via the existing door on Castle Street, again subject to conservation considerations of the works involved. The remodelling of levels to achieve universal access to both buildings will form part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of a vehicular set down area for City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

The provision of disabled car parking spaces and the appropriate route from them to City Hall needs to be considered as part of the Part 8 proposal.

It is envisaged that the permanent paving material for Cork Hill/Castle Street will be Leinster Granite similar to that used recently on Palace Street. Fair-faced concrete was used for the traffic management structure as it is temporary. “

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