The Dublin City Business Association (DCBA), which represents 4000 retailers, has called on Dublin Corporation to re-evaluate its new bus gate system. In place since 27 July, the scheme bans all traffic, apart from buses, taxis and bicycles from travelling through the College Green area during morning and evening rush hours (07.00-10.00 and 16.00-19.00).

The DCBA maintain that the ban has discouraged shoppers from Dublin city centre and is now threatening the livelihoods of traders in the area. According to their figures, city centre outlets have lost as much as 75 per cent of their business in recent times. Notwithstanding Ireland's recession, it is their view that since the ban took effect, thousands of shoppers have been forced to abandon the centre in favour of out-of-town shopping destinations such as Blanchardstown and Dundrum.

A petition has been signed by 174 members of Mandate trade union, all of them working in iconic Grafton Street store Brown Thomas. The petition was presented to city councillors in a effort to lobby them into overturning their decision before the centre becomes a "barren wasteland".