Operation Open City launches today – Gardaí and key transport bodies facilitate traffic movements in Dublin – until December 24

7th December, 2014

Minister Donohoe urges people to leave the car at home and use public transport in the run-up to Christmas

Dublin’s seasonal traffic management campaign, Operation Open City, co-ordinated by the Garda Siochána and involving the National Transport Authority, the National Roads Authority, the Dublin local authorities, transport providers and the business community, launches today, December 7 and will remain in force on the streets of Dublin until it is stood down on Christmas Eve, December 24. Full details are available on the Operation Open City section of www.transportforireland.ie .


The aim of Operation Open City is to help people get about their day’s business, and enjoy the seasonal festivities, by facilitating the movement of public transport in Dublin and minimising traffic disruption to the general public through high visibility and enforcement activity.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘The surge in the number of people coming into the city centre in the run-up to Christmas often means that congestion is at its worst. In a bid to deal with increased traffic volumes on our roads, An Garda Siochána will, again this year, work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that traffic flows freely and that people can go about their business with minimal disruption. We have made numerous advances in recent years in making public transport a more attractive option. The introduction of Real Time Passenger Information, as well as the broad use of social media, means that commuters are better able to plan the journey ahead than ever before. If people are coming to town over the coming weeks to see the lights, to visit the Christmas markets or to pay a visit to Father Christmas, I would  strongly urge them to consider leaving the car at home and to hop on a Luas, DART or bus for a more hassle-free and stress-free day out’.


Key activities in 2014 include:

  • Highly visible Garda traffic patrols on the city’s arterial routes, car parks and main shopping areas during peak commuting and shopping times and at key venues and arenas for major concerts and events scheduled for December (incl. Andre Rieu, Elton John, Madness);
  • Monitoring of clearways, Quality Bus Corridors and Luas tracks to minimise vehicular obstruction;
  • Additional night-time public transport services on bus and Luas;
  • Provision of a rapid-response towing services to quickly clear breakdown incidents  – provided by Dublin Bus  for commercial vehicles and Dublin City Parking Services for general traffic;
  • Daily teleconferencing between the key players – Gardaí, National Transport Authority, local authorities, etc to ensure rapid responses and immediate shared information throughout the crucial pre-Christmas period
  • Use of social and other media to share information quickly with the public (Twitter hashtag?)


People are strongly encouraged to leave their cars at home whenever possible over December, and to use the National Transport Authority’s Apps to help them get about on public transport:

  • The National Journey Planner which plots public transport trip options – in real time – between any two addresses in Ireland; and
  • Real Time Ireland which gives up-to-the-minute arrival time information for buses, Luas, trains; etc


For many businesses in Dublin, the 6-7 weeks before Christmas can represent between 30% and 35% of their annual turnover. City centre footfall numbers from 2013 show that from the week beginning 4th November through to Christmas Eve, almost 23 million consumers visited the city – or 460,000 people per day. Already this year in 2014, the first big week of Christmas shopping has showed an increase of 20% on the busy retail streets.