Cars could be banned from crossing Dublin centre city within the next two years if recommendations in a city council report come into effect.
According to the report the city roads are already at saturation point and there is no room for expansion. Recent property developments all over the city have also contributed to the pressure on private and public transport.
About 200,000 people commute into the city each day and it is estimated this will rise to 375,000 by 2020. The population living in the area controlled by the city council is just over 500,000 although in the greater Dublin area it is 1.6 million and is estimated to rise of 2.1 million by 2021.
According to the report if public transport is to function properly improved planning and coordination between the transport agencies is needed. At present the interchanges between various forms of public transport (buses and two light train lines) are insufficient and some parts of the city are cut off from one another.
Increased use of bicycles within the relatively small central area is also considered an alternative, but with present traffic and pollution levels, bicycling is unsafe and there has been a decline in the use of bicycles in recent years.
Banning cars from the central area would allow the city to design more pedestrian areas, of which they are very few, as well as encourage greater use of bicycles, with special lanes and lock-up stands at public transport intersections.