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Preserving the future of Phoenix Park

The Liberty asked the Office of Public Works about post-Covid plans for the largest enclosed public park in Europe – including the intention to cut back permanently on commuter traffic.

The Phoenix Park’s abundance of space, its wonderful zoo, and variety of wildlife attract hundreds of thousands of visits each year.  

In a ‘Phoenix Park Transport and Mobility Options study’ recently conducted by the Office of Public Works (OPW), a set of core principles for the park are outlined: to protect the biodiversity of the park; to recognise its function as a recreation site; to encourage more sustainable transport solutions; and to reduce commuter traffic.

Photo credit: Office of Public Works. An ariel image of the Phoenix Park 

The study makes numerous recommendations for the reduction of traffic and the increase of cycling and pedestrian opportunities.  

“The OPW is looking at ways to reduce vehicles to the park to ensure a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists and other leisure users by providing more sustainable transport options for visitors,” a spokesperson from the OPW said.

The proposal to close off the park as a commuter route is controversial, as it could lead to more congestion around areas such as Castleknock, the Navan Road and Ballyfermot. “The park is surrounded by alternative routes via M50, N3 and N4,” the OPW spokesperson told The Liberty.

“To protect and conserve the Park as a green space and historic landscape.”

Office of Public Works

The OPW has looked at potential ways to increase public transport access to the park while protecting its biodiversity. “Improved alternatives to car use are being considered in conjunction with the National Transport Authority, such as Dublin-Bus-Connect initiatives.” 

The protection of natural habitats and wildlife in the park is a crucial part of the OPW’s plan. 

“One of the main objectives of the OPW is to protect and conserve the park as a green space and historic landscape, by maintaining the substantial variety of trees and protecting the biodiversity for all species of wildlife habitats,” the spokesperson said.

“The hope for its future is to have a sustainable and fully accessible park for all users by prioritising sustainable transport modes accessing the park,” the spokesperson said.

This would reduce carbon emissions and noise around the park, “making the experience of the park’s amenities more favourable and enjoyable for all visitors and the wildlife habitats.”

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