Local authorities will have the power to ban or restrict access for diesel cars to certain areas under the Climate Action plans.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said that power will be granted to local authorities under climate measures.

Speaking following a meeting with county and city managers where they signed up to to a climate charter, the minister was also asked about comments by the Taoiseach about allowing electric cars use bus lanes.

He said it would have to be considered but there would be obvious constraints as it could not compromise projects like Bus Connects and the ability to deliver fast and effective public transport.

This evening, the Department of Climate Action said that powers for local authorities to ban or restrict access for diesel vehicles would be due to come into force by the end of 2020.

The move comes under Action 81 of the Government's Climate Action Plan.

A spokesman for the department said that a study in this area will be commissioned by the Government by the end of the year. 

It will inform legislation on allowing local authorities to restrict access to certain areas to zero emission vehicles. The study will also look at parking pricing policies.