Congestion charges are once again being considered as a way to tackle gridlock in cities around the country.

It comes after a new report has found that the cost of congestion is set to approach €2bn annually by the end of the next decade.

A new report for the Department of Transport has found that congestion causes an increase in business costs, stress, pollution and a reduction in quality of life and inward investment.

According to today’s Herald, around 65% of households use a car and a new transport policy is aimed at reducing it to 45%.

An increase in the supply of public transport would be the first response but the expansion of the Dart and MetroLink in Dublin and the Bus Connects projects around the country are medium to long-term projects.

The report found that even then, measures to deter car users such as congestion charges would be needed to prevent gridlock.

The warning comes following another week of traffic chaos with the pre-Christmas rush, poor weather and the normal commuter crush combining to bring streets to a standstill.

Studies have shown though that transport issues are not just confined to this time of year.

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