TRAFFIC congestion in a key Dublin city centre zone has fallen by 20pc since the opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge.
Dublin City Council said the new €60m Liffey crossing has meant significant volumes of cars have been diverted away from other vital routes.
"The opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge has provided an alternate route for north/ south-bound traffic wishing to cross the Liffey," city engineer Alec Dundon stated in a new report.
This has resulted in "significantly less traffic using Butt Bridge [and] Memorial Bridge", he added.
He said that recent counts indicate traffic volumes entering the zone from "the south across Butt Bridge are down by 20pc".
"With less traffic on Pearse Street and Tara Street approaching Butt Bridge, and less traffic on Amiens Street approaching Memorial Bridge, congestion on the Custom House gyratory [a network of clockwise one-way roads] has been significantly reduced," Mr Dundon stated.
As a result, there has been "a reduction in journey times on all routes" feeding into the zone including Eden Quay, Amiens Street and the North Wall Quay".
"The reduced journey times have been beneficial not only to those motorists passing through the area but also to local businesses and residents using the local road network," he insisted.
However, motorists hoping for a lifting of the "turning bans" at the Samuel Beckett Bridge will be disappointed.
The restrictions have prevented "large volumes of traffic detouring through residential areas" in order to access the bridge, Mr Dundon said.
At the moment, left-turn bans stop drivers on Sheriff Street accessing Guild Street and drivers on North Wall Quay turning on to the bridge.
A right-turn prohibition prevents northbound traffic on the bridge from accessing North Wall Quay.
Without the bans, Pearse Street traffic volumes "may well have increased" as many motorists would have used the Samuel Beckett Bridge instead of the East-Link crossing.
Mr Dundon said: "The turning bans have ensured that one of the principle benefits of the new bridge, namely a reduction in the congestion on the Custom House gyratory, has been achieved."