In order to continue to achieve the environmental and recreational objectives of the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan, a portion of Chesterfield Avenue, from the Phoenix Monument to the Mountjoy Roundabout, will be closed at weekends to vehicular traffic from 8pm on 8pm on Friday evenings until 8pm on Sunday evenings and Public Holidays. This will run from Friday 4th May to 8pm on Sunday 30th September 2018. During these periods, an alternative route, using Odd Lamp Road, will be open. The OPW will closely monitor traffic flows in order to minimise disturbance to users of the Park.

At 1752 acres (709 hectares) the Phoenix Park is among the largest in a European capital city. Its blend of landscape, sporting and recreational activities coupled with a variety of state institutions and historic features makes it unique among European parks. In September 2011, the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan set out a vision to “protect and conserve the historic landscape character of The Phoenix Park”. Furthermore, Action 9.1 of the Conservation Plan sets out “to manage the levels of traffic within The Phoenix Park and reduce through traffic”.

The use of Chesterfield Avenue as a busy arterial traffic route has long conflicted with this objective. In effect, the use of Chesterfield Avenue is not consistent with its setting and designation. The Phoenix Park Transportation Study completed in 2006 reflected this long term objective of reducing the environmental impact of traffic travelling through the Phoenix Park.

Between April 2012 and September 2012, and as part of the celebrations of the 350th Anniversary of the Phoenix Park, a section of the main east-west route (Chesterfield Avenue) was closed to traffic during weekends. The OPW commissioned AECOM to study and report on the findings of a qualitative and quantitative review of the pilot closures during 2012 in order to measure the benefits and impacts of weekend closures, and hence understand the case for a more permanent arrangement.

Download this report here.