Following a pedestrianisation trial period, traffic returns to Grafton Street in Dublin reopens facilitate city centre roadworks.
On 6 September 1971 Grafton Street in Dublin closed to traffic, initially for a four week trial period. Grafton Street reopens to traffic from 10 January 1972 to facilitate road reconstruction works in South Great George's Street, Dame Street and College Green.
According to head of Dublin Corporation's traffic section Des Flanagan it will be at least two years before the pedestrianisation experiment can resume. He considers the experiment worthwhile and would like to see the area closed to traffic again once the road reconstruction works are complete.
There are mixed views from business owners and shoppers on the merits and success of the pedestrianisation experiment.
Initially managing director of Switzers James A. Chapman found sales improved when traffic was banished from the street. However this benefit was short-lived.
His counterpart in Brown Thomas department store believes the pedestrianisation experiment brought undesirables to Grafton Street and is glad to see the traffic return.
Another shopkeeper disagrees,
It’s been a tremendous success from a business point of view, from our customers who appreciated the freedom they had in the street.
One shopper feels pedestrianisation is a hindrance to browsing in shop windows. Another dislikes pedestrianisation because she has a car.
A man is sad the trial period is over as he feels it was hugely successful,
I hope they’ll revert to the old situation.
A young woman loved the vehicle free Grafton Street because
You could stroll down leisurely.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 January 1972. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.