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19th Sep 2023

Cars banned and more cycle space – main takeaways from the 2023 Dublin Transport Plan

Fiona Frawley

The “radical” transport plan entails new civic plazas and a ban on private cars in certain parts of the city.

Last week, Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) unveiled a plan for transport in the city centre, with an aim to identify and prioritise changes needed to its current transport arrangements.

The plan looks towards a new “low traffic” city centre, with more space given to sustainable modes of transport such as cycling and walking and a cull of private traffic around town.

Most of the main changes would come into effect next year, with the plazas expected to be ready closer to 2025. If you’re wondering what changes you can expect to see and when, here’s a breakdown of some of the main points from the Transport Plan.


The plan by DCC and NTA would see private traffic in the city centre radically reduced, with car access to the city’s “inner core” reserved for necessary trips only. The inner core area is highlighted in the diagram below – spanning from Stephen’s Green to Mountjoy Square and from Smithfield to the IFSC.

Dublin’s Inner Core area, as defined by the Dublin Transport Plan 2023.

Car traffic without a destination in the inner core would be redirected as far as possible via alternative existing routes, and on selected streets, private cars will be banned entirely (including sections of the north and south quays, close to O’Connell Bridge and Parliament Street, as well as College Green and Dame Street from the junction with George’s Street eastwards.). The redevelopment or repurposing of most city centre multi-storey car parks will also be pursued. On-street parking will be reduced to make way for sustainable transport modes, and remaining on-street parking will move to an emission based fee structure.

Traffic-free plazas

The plan would see a traffic-free plaza created at the Custom House, either between the building and the river or at the Beresford Place side. The council also aims to create a “world class, landmark public space” at College Green, with all vehicular traffic removed and the insertion of a “pedestrian priority” space and safe cycle routes. Deliveries and emergency vehicles would still be facilitated.

Proposal for College Green 

Proposal for Custom House Quay as part of the Dublin Transport Plan 2023

Speed Limit

A reduced speed limit of 30km/ph has been proposed for all roads in the city centre.

Traffic plans

Private cars would be stopped turning left from Westland Row onto Pearse Street from next year, and instead have to turn right and move away from the city.

Two new “bus gates” have been proposed for the quays close to O’Connell Bridge – on the northside at Bachelors’ Walk and on the southside at Aston Quay, preventing private traffic from travelling from O’Connell Bridge in the direction of Heuston Station. These restrictions are due to be in place from next year.

On Westland Row, the plan would see only public transport and cyclists allowed to turn left onto Pearse Street, and a new right turn for general traffic will be introduced here. Finally, the section of Pearse Street from Westland Row to Sandwith Street would be made two-way. The aim here is to free up space on Pearse Street, Tara Street, Beresford Place and Gardiner Street to be re-allocated.

Public Transport

The plan has been devised with the development of DART+ and the fabled Metrolink in mind, with Dublin Bus and the Luas to be given “maximum levels of priority” in terms of road space allocation and junction reconfigurations, balanced with the needs of cyclists and pedestrians. Bus stopping patterns will be rationalised to ensure minimal impact on service efficiency, and the stopping requirements of tourist and commuter coaches will be coordinated, “to ensure that kerbside space within the City Centre is appropriately used”.


Two way cycling will be permitted on one-way streets where possible. Cycle parking will be promoted in all multistorey car parks where it can be provided and accessed safely and conveniently, the expansion of bike rental services in Dublin will “be kept under review” and investment in on-street public cycle parking will continue.

The full plan is available to view right here, and is available for public consultation until December 1st.

Images via


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