An operation is under way aimed at keeping traffic flowing and minimising disruption in the Dublin region in the run-up to Christmas.

Operation Open City will remain in force until Christmas Eve.

Gardaí have said the plan is aimed at helping people to conduct their business with as little disruption as possible throughout the busy Christmas period.

The operation will see visible garda traffic patrols around Dublin, with officers patrolling major routes and link roads during the main commuter hours.

There will also be particular focus on traffic management around car parks and major shopping centres during peak times.

People have been encouraged to leave their cars at home whenever possible through December and to use public transport.

Full details of Operation Open City are available on www.transportforireland.ie 

Meanwhile, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association has called on consumers to shop locally this Christmas.

ISME said supporting local business is the best way to support local jobs.

Chief Executive Mark Fielding said: "Every €10 spent locally on Irish products can generate up to €24 benefit to the local economy, so the long-term benefits of buying those all-important Christmas gifts are incredibly important."