A group of Dublin city centre businesses are taking a legal challenge against the council's bus corridor at College Green.

13 businesses including Brown Thomas, Weirs, Louis Copeland as well as shopping centre and car park owners, will go to the High Court on Monday.

They are claiming that the council's decision is causing a critical loss of trade in the busiest quarter of the year.

The Dublin City Centre Business Association has produced figures showing that the rush hour ban on private cars at College Green is damaging evening trade in the capital.

It says business is down every evening and Thursday night, which is one of the busiest of the week, is down by 36%.

DCCBA chief executive Tom Coffey described the bus gate decision as a ‘irresponsible political action by loony Greens and loony Labour’.

The legal challenge comes as the Mandate union, which represents many of the 25,000 retail workers in the city, expressed concern at the threat to jobs in the city centre as a direct result of the car restriction.

Fine Gael Cllr Gerry Breen said he was hopeful that the evening bus gate will be lifted at least for Operation Freeflow which starts at the end of next month.

A spokesman for the city council said that the manager will be holding further meetings on the issue.

Labour Cllr Andrew Montague disputed the DCCBA figures, saying that numbers in the council's south city carpark had returned to normal just one week after the bus gate was introduced last July.

He said it was now easier to get into the city with one bus route doubling its average speed through College Green where pedestrian figures are up 6% and cyclists up 34%.