A phased pedestrianisation of Dublin's College Green is among plans to provide more social distancing during the return to work as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The plans by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority restrict road space for private motorists and mean fewer bus stops for commuters.

The report, entitled Enabling the City To Return To Work, also sets out 14 radial routes that will give priority to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.

The report predicts that public transport capacity will be reduced by 80% because of social distancing so it is aiming at a 100% increase in pedestrians and a 300% increase in cyclists.

To reduce bus queues, fewer buses will use the same stop meaning longer walks for some commuters.

Specifically to "move the load" around the city, routes from the Camden Street-George's Street area will be moved on to the Stephen's Green-Dawson Street alignments as well as provide a contra-flow bus lane on Winetavern Street.

Regarding College Green, the report states: "Existing space for pedestrians will be increased and the protected cycle route will be extended.

"As services are diverted in a phased manner, then this will allow for gradually increased space for pedestrians and eventually the conversion of the complete space to allow for better pedestrian and cycling provision along the College Green and Dame Street route".

The report states that the measures are temporary and the plans are subject to change.

Bus priority at traffic signals, extra bus lanes, increased cycle lanes and widening of pavements for pedestrians are among the measure proposed.

Already some business groups such as the Dublin City Centre Traders Alliance have threatened legal action, saying that the restrictions on cars will damage the revival of retail trade.

The report lists 14 Radial Routes:

1. Rathmines – Richmond Street South – George's Street – Dame Street

The Rathmines to Dame Street routes is the busiest artery on the southside of the city in terms of pedestrians and cyclists. In addition it has a large number of retail outlets, cafés and restaurants along its route. 

2. Fairview – North Strand – Newcomen Bridge – Amiens Street – Beresford Place

This route collects all of the demand from the northeastern suburbs of Dublin via the Clontarf Road, Howth Road and Malahide Road. It also contains Connolly Station and Busáras. The presence of two major national transport facilities here reinforces the requirement for an improved pedestrian environment. 

3. Harold’s Cross – Clanbrassil Street – Dame Street

Harold’s Cross collects travel demand from a number of suburbs from the south and southwest, as Kimmage Road Lower and Harold’s Cross Road converge close to the canal. Clanbrassil Street is a wide dual-carriageway further in with potential for road space reallocation. Interim Mobility Intervention Programme for Dublin City 20 

4. Donnybrook – Leeson Street – College Green

This is a major arterial link for the city, taking in demand from Bray through multiple suburbs and connecting with the major trip attractor of UCD along the route. It feeds directly into the office core of the southeast city centre and the retail core at Grafton Street.

 5. Drumcondra – Dorset Street – O’Connell Street T

he Drumcondra route is an extremely busy link, taking in demand from major suburbs such as Swords and Santry. Drumcondra and Dorset Street comprise very important local centres with extensive economic activity along the routes. 

6. Grand Canal Street – Pearse Street

This route is a vital link from the southside suburbs into Grand Canal Docks and onwards into the north Docklands. Both Grand Canal Dock and Pearse rail stations feed out onto this crossing point, requiring measures to cater for increased pedestrian and cycle movement. 

7. Ranelagh – Charlemont Street

Ranelagh village is a major centre of activity and a significant generator of walking and cycling trips over the canal towards Charlemont Street and onward towards Camden Street to the west, and the southeast office core to the east. 

8. Baggot Street Lower – Merrion Row

This route is at the heart of the south city business district and contains a significant number of local retail outlets, cafés and restaurants catering for workers and residents in the area. It also connects the southeast retail core at St Stephen’s Green directly to Ballsbridge.

 9. Ballsbridge – Mount Street – College Green

Ballsbridge comprises an extension of the southeast business district and its connection to the city centre will be vital during this period. There is considerable office and local retail activity along this route and it contains the National Maternity Hospital and Merrion Square Park. Interim Mobility Intervention Programme for Dublin City 21

10. Phibsborough – Church Street – North Quays

The Phibsborough route is an important one for bus movements from the northside of the city. It also carries a high number of cyclists and pedestrians into the city. It is highly constrained in terms of width in certain locations closer to the city centre. 

11. Ballybough – Summerhill Parade

This link connects directly to O’Connell Street via Parnell Street, providing an alternative route for all modes to the much busier Amiens Street link, and as such carries a significant number of pedestrians and cyclists. This is a generally wide roadway, incorporating dual-carriageways in parts. 

12. Docklands – North Wall Quay

Docklands is one of the most important generators and attractors of trips in the city and as the economy reactivates, it will be important to ensure that travel demand to and from this area can be accommodated.

13. Crumlin – Cork Street – Kevin Street – St Stephen’s Green

Much of the demand from the southwest suburbs of Dublin converges onto the Crumlin Road radial route. As it approaches the city, it picks up further significant demand from the inner city residential areas of Dublin 8. 

14. Grand Canal

The Grand Canal greenway runs from the Docklands as far as Portobello. From there westwards, there is no segregated provision for cyclists, despite the link catering for a significant number of cycle trips along its entire length.