New report suggests introducing €10 congestion charge in Cork City
The Five Cities Demand Management Study was commissioned by the Department of Transport to investigate ways of encouraging people to use public transport.
The report says a €10 charge at peak times, and €5 during off-peak hours is one way of encouraging people to leave the car at home.
Consultants Systra say the cost of traffic congestion is considerable in terms of the economy and human health and argue that making driving in the city more expensive will reduce car-based demand.
Evidence shows that while congestion charges in major cities like London faced significant opposition, it did lead to a reduction in traffic, airbourne pollutants and road accidents.
Modelling suggests mixed results in terms of congestion for Cork with a reduction in the city core of up to a quarter but little impact in the wider area.
Air quality in the city centre would also improve significantly but there is a risk that higher concentrations of traffic outside the city centre would affect air quality elsewhere and result in a net increase in carbon emissions overall.
Other recommendations include expanding slow zones in residential areas and staggering start and finish times for schools and workplaces.