Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has said a ban on private cars in Dublin city centre will not be introduced until 2011 during the run-up to the start of the Metro and Luas works.

The head of the Dublin Transportation Office, John Henry, said he would like to see a ban made permanent and a congestion charge will also be considered.

The DTO was today launching a public consultation process for the future of transport in Dublin up to 2030.

The most pressing concern now is the massive disruption that will occur once construction begins in 2011.

Plans have been put forward on several occasions for a re-routing of private cars away from Dame Street and College Green, through Westmoreland Street and O'Connell Street.

This will become necessary before work starts on the rail projects.

Mr Henry cited the example of St Stephen's Green West, which has been closed to through traffic since the Luas was situated there.