The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997 (S.I. 182 of 1997) give local authorities the power to apply restrictions to heavy goods vehicles from entering particular roads or areas. As it is a matter for each local authority to determine if, and where, such restrictions should apply within its own functional area, I as Minister currently have no direct role in restricting vehicular access to individual roads.
As the Deputy may be aware, however, action 81 of the Climate Action Plan calls for the relevant bodies to "develop a regulatory framework on low emission zones and parking policies, and provide local authorities with the power to restrict access to certain parts of a city or town to zero emission vehicles only". In light of this, my Department will commission a demand management study later this year in order to consider the potential role of demand management measures in Irish cities which can be deployed to address economic congestion, air quality concerns and to reduce climate harmful emissions.
Implementation of the most appropriate measure, or measures, in each case will have regard to existing powers of local authorities, including those reserved to elected members, and my Department will work with Minister Murphy’s Department if additional legislation or functions are necessary.