Part of the main road which runs through the centre of the Phoenix Park is to be closed to traffic at weekends until the end of the summer.

The closure coincides with celebrations to mark the 350th anniversary of the park but it could become a permanent measure.

From Easter weekend a 1km stretch of Chesterfield Avenue from the roundabout at Áras an Uachtaráin to the roundabout near the Castleknock gate will close every weekend from 10pm Friday until 10pm Sunday.

The Office of Public Works says it will monitor how people respond to the change before it decides whether to make the move permanent.

A number of events are taking place to mark the 350th anniversary of the park, including a map exhibition and a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Easter Saturday.

The OPW says the road closure will help facilitate these and other activities.

The Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Brian Hayes said that the recent closure of another part of Chesterfield Avenue for roadworks allowed people to discover different parts of the park.

He said there was a need to do things differently in order to encourage more people to use the facility.

John Neary, the presenter of Live Drive 103.7 Dublin City FM, a radio programme which is devoted to traffic in Dublin, says the only problem that may arise from the measure is the loss of parking spaces on Chesterfield Avenue at the weekend.

He said that if alternative spaces are made available throughout the park the road closure should not be a problem.

The road closure comes into effect on 7 April.