Dublin city centre businesses have called for an urgent review of the car free zone at College Green claiming it has caused a serious decline in trade.

A hastily arranged meeting of 12 business people in the city heard yesterday that Thursday night trade in particular has been badly affected by the bus gate.

The operator of Brown Thomas car park said trade was down 75% in the evenings.

The bus gate came in at the end of July banning private cars from passing Trinity College during morning and evening rush hours.

The city council has promised a review next January.

However, Fine Gael Councillor Gerry Breen said many shop workers could be on the dole by then.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said it will look at ways of encouraging shoppers who travel in cars into the city.

He said that it seemed the bus gate had been a success for bus passengers and pedestrians.