Dublin's northside is considered twice as dangerous as the southside, according to a survey published by a city centre business group.

Drugs and congregating groups of people were the main issues cited by people visiting the city centre.

The survey, carried out by Dublin Town, found that people are feeling increasingly safer in the city centre compared to previous years.

However only 24% felt safe north of the river at night, compared to 50% on the southside.

91% of respondents to the survey carried out in 2015 said they felt safe on the southside during the day, compared to just 74% on the northside.

These results compare to surveys in 2011 which did not distinguish between different side of the river.

In total just 31% of all respondents in 2011 felt safe at night.

Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, said "we are moving in the right direction, especially in the daytime".

He said the improvement had been brought about by Garda operations targetting drug dealing.

He added the perception of the northside was a "legacy issue".

"The amount of drugs, needle finds drug activity is completely down on where it was beforehand".

Mr Guiney told the Finance Committee of Dublin City Council that an application will be made for Purple Flag status for an area of the northside from Capel Street to O'Connell Street following the successful designation of the Dame Street area last year.

Purple Flags are awarded to areas for their nighttime entertainment based on assessment of issues such as security, access and variety of facilities.

Meanwhile, Grafton Street has experienced a 4% drop in retail sales because of Luas works according to the group.

It has found the reduction is due to fewer northsiders crossing the Liffey, with Luas-related roadworks and the College Green bus corridor being seen as deterrents