The Automobile Association has joined growing opposition to the introduction of a car ban on College Green in Dublin.

The restriction is being sought by city planners as a way of easing congestion and improving bus services.

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey and Energy Minister Eamon Ryan have criticised those city councillors who oppose the bus gate at College Green scheduled to come into effect from July.

However, the leader of the Fine Gael group of councillors, Gerry Breen, has predicted it will be rejected, especially as the postponement of Metro North works mean it will not be strictly necessary.

City centre retailers say restrictions on private cars would damage business at a time of economic difficulty.

Now the AA has also come out against the plan.

Spokesman Conor Faughnan, who is a member of the council's transport committee, said there would not be enough improvement in Dublin Bus services for it to be justified.

The transport committee is due to vote on the plan on 16 April.