Dublin City Centre Transport Plan: keep it intact


Dublin Bus lineup, Ringsend Depot, 16 May 2010, tags: city centre transport - CC BY-SA

Dublin Bus CEO, Billy Hann, advises against any amendments to the City Centre Transport Plan as originally drafted and urges the council to keep it intact.

Mr. Hann’s call comes after a recent decision by the council to ease restrictions on the plan and consider delaying its implementation until March or April 2025.

Expressing his concerns, Mr. Hann stated that, if the plan is delayed, it may not be implemented at all due to political reasons.

The transport plan was initially designed to address the city’s traffic congestion issues by implementing bus-only lanes and other restrictions.

Recommended amendments

After the council’s announcement to lessen the limitations of the plan, Mr. Hann voiced his opinion. This modification would enable private automobile drivers to enter particular zones during designated times.

According to the Dublin city councilors, the restrictions will only apply from 7 am to 7 pm daily, and a section of Aston Quay will be inaccessible to cars.

Mr. Hann disagreed with this approach and suggested that the original plan be implemented instead, with adjustments made if necessary through a monitoring group.

The Fine Gael Minister of State for Enterprise, Emer Higgins, instigated a dialogue between the council and local business associations, including car park managers, regarding the prospect of suspending the plan’s execution.

Mr. Richard Shakespeare, the council chief executive, has confirmed receiving a request from these groups to delay the implementation from August 2024 to March or April 2025 and commission an economic impact study.

Mr. Hann argued that any delay would result in increased congestion in Dublin city and urged the council to reconsider.

He argued that the actual plan itself went to full consultation…”so I can’t see why we’re not just implementing it in full, with a review period to make any adjustments or changes if there are any unintended consequences.”


Mr. Shakespeare agreed to meet with organizations pushing for the complete and prompt realization of the plan.

The Dublin City Centre Transport Plan

The City Centre Transport Plan, which was intended to prioritize bus travel and reduce overall congestion in Dublin city through strategic restrictions and bus-priority measures, is of significant importance for the city’s infrastructure development.

The transport plan was introduced last year to address traffic congestion and improve public transport in the city. In it, bus gates along Bachelors Walk and Aston Quay will operate continuously and permit only buses and other public vehicles to traverse them.

Any delay or modification to the plan could jeopardize its potential to effectively tackle ongoing transportation challenges by restructuring traffic flow patterns, mitigating other transportation challenges, and boosting public transport usage.

Our experience is if you have certain time periods on bus lanes, we invariably find those bus lanes are used by car drivers no matter what time of the day. Whereas if you have a blanket 24-hour bus lane people tend to adhere to it. Unless there’s strong enforcement and strong monitoring, it’s going to fail, so it’s best to avoid it

Billy Hann

Last Monday, city councilors were told that private motorists will not be allowed to drive directly east and west along the Liffey Quays at O’Connell Bridge, but only a 50m section of Aston Quay would be inaccessible to cars. Restrictions are proposed to be effective for a 12-hour period only, but Mr. Hann argued that time-governed bus lanes are ineffective.

On Monday evening, several hundred people joined a protest outside City Hall. They sought the full-time and on-time implementation of the plan.


Organized by a group of civil society bodies, the protest filled Castle Street. Among those in attendance are the Irish Heart Foundation, An Taisce, Irish Doctors for the Environment, the Dublin Commuter Coalition, the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice, and several cycling groups. Mr. Shakespeare will be meeting them this week.

A united effort from diverse groups in the community is essential to bring the Dublin City Transport Plan to fruition.

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