The brakes will be slammed on cars driving through Dublin city centre this summer, Eamon Ryan has announced.
The Dublin City Centre Transport Plan, which will be presented to city councillors tomorrow afternoon, aims to stop motorists driving “through” instead of “to” the capital.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the change will radically transform the capital and predicted other cities would follow suit.
“They will see a transformation this August when we take the through traffic out of the city centre,” he said.
“That’s going to make a huge change in Dublin and we can do the same in each of our cities.
“Those cities that don’t want to be part of it, they will fall behind.
“They will stay stuck in this car gridlocked, car dependent system.”
Minister Ryan said the final decision would rest with local authorities but his Department would be happy to pay if they decided to follow Dublin’s example.
“We’ll provide the funding, we’ll provide the policy background but really this is a matter for local communities or local authorities,” he said.
“Do you want to go this cleaner, safer or stick with the past?”
Yesterday, the European Union announced it wanted a 90% emissions reduction across the bloc, prior to reaching net zero by 2050.
It is a target Minister Ryan believes would be “doable” but challenging.
“The only way it would work is if this is not divisive, if this is not politically divisive between rural and urban, rich, poor, young, old,” he said.
“It has to be everyone, every place matters, every sector.”
Last year, carbon emissions in Ireland fell by an estimated 4%.
Main image: A general view of traffic on Dublin's College Green.