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Dublin taxi drivers considering protests over city centre plaza plan

Taxi drivers are threatening to protest over proposed College Green plaza plans

TAXI drivers in Dublin are threatening to protest over proposals to ban cabs from the College Green area of the city.

It comes after Dublin City Council applied for planning permission to build a pedestrianised plaza, which would ban all traffic, including buses and taxis, from accessing Dame Street through College Green.

The aim of the plan is to reduce congestion in the area.

The proposals, if given the go ahead, would also see the removal of a taxi rank at Foster Place.

Jim Waldron, a spokesman for the National Private Hire and Taxi Association (NPHTA) said drivers are considering protests over the impact the proposed new plaza will have on their business.

"There are 250 drivers approximately based in Foster Place," he told RTÉ.

"That's where they make their living. If their living is going to be taken away from them, they are not going to take it quietly.

"It's not what we want to be doing. If we are out protesting on the streets we're not making any money. We would rather be talking to people, and not just talking but being listened to."

Hoteliers have also said the move could impact on tourism in the city with six well-known Dublin hotels, including The Merrion and The Shelbourne, joining forces to appeal to An Bord Pleanála, a planning appeals body.

They said that excluding taxis would have "seriously adverse consequences for access to the Grafton Street area".

The National Transport Authority (NTA) said it is monitoring the movement of public transport services through College Green.

It said "changes made in recent weeks to some Dublin Bus routes in the area have already had a positive effect" and it would take further steps as appropriate.

"We will look at everything in that regard," it said.

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