There will be a decrease in capacity for cars in Dublin city centre during works on Metro North and the Luas interconnector, Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has said.
"Trying to provide world class public transport system does entail some inconvenience and disruption" Mr Dempsey said at the launch of a public consultation on a new transport strategy for Dublin from 2010 to 2030.
The time frame for the Metro North and the Luas Interconnector is from 2010 to 2015 but works will take place in different places at different times to confine disruption, Mr Dempsey added.
Director of the Dublin Transportation Office John Henry said the disruption was necessary and added: "I would like to see a more permanent solution, to make the city centre a much friendlier place to do business "
A congestion charge, such as the one adopted in London, will be one of the solutions to control transport use which will be looked at in the future, Mr Henry added.
"We are not talking about banning traffic in the city centre but rerouting it" Mr Henry said. "We need to re-establish the dominance of citizens of the city and reduce dominance of the car".
Dublin Chamber of Commerce said it supported plans to transform the city centre into a pedestrian-friendly, shopper-friendly, family-friendly and tourist-friendly space. However it warned that plans to introduce congestion charging were premature and must not be considered until adequate public transport is in place.
“Dublin suffers from a severe public transport deficit, which impacts upon workers, shoppers and tourists daily,” said Chief Executive Gina Quin
“Responding to this deficit by restricting private vehicles or imposing congestion charging will not improve traffic flows or patterns in the city centre. What is needed first is a significant increase in bus capacity in the Greater Dublin Area, and a fully operational traffic management plan which helps us to understand current traffic flows in and around the city.”
Members of the public interested in giving their views on the future shape of transport in the greater Dublin area can answer an online questionnaire at www.2030vision.ie by June 30th.