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'It's hammering the character of Cork' - Afternoon car ban on St Patrick's St starts today

The strategy also contains major plans for the Bachelor’s Quay and Grattan Street areas.

Image: Shutterstock/gabriel12

CORK’S MAIN STREET will be inaccessible to cars from 3pm today under a new strategy.

The change is part of the the City Centre Movement Strategy was voted through at a meeting of the council in November 2016.

It includes works which:

  • Close St Patrick’s Street to private car traffic between 3pm and 6.30pm
  • Reduce the time a motorist can park to an hour in many areas
  • Install CCTV at many junctions around Patrick’s Street
  • Add a pedestrian crossing between Cook Street and Opera Lane
  • Make pay parking up until 8.30pm instead of 6.30pm.

The strategy also contains major plans for the Bachelor’s Quay and Grattan Street areas.

Cork City Hall says the time regulated bus lane, which runs from 3pm to 6.30pm will “help ensure a more reliable bus service and will improve movement and access in the city as the number of people living and working in the city centre is increasing”.

It says drivers should be aware:

  • Northbound traffic approaching from the south or west (Lough area, Wilton, Victoria Cross etc) via Dyke Parade or Wood St should turn into Prospect Row before the Mercy Hospital
  • Traffic approaching from Grand Parade will be diverted via Daunt Square and Cornmarket St. and on towards the quays
  • There will be no access to St Patrick’s St. from Academy St so drivers have the option to turn into Emmet Place (towards Cork Opera House) or drive on into Drawbridge St and Perry St
  • There will be no exit from Drawbridge St onto St. Patrick’s St except for taxis, minibuses, emergency vehicles and cyclists.
  • Westbound traffic approaching from Merchant Quay should proceed along the quays to Grattan St

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Bus Éireann has welcomed the plan, with Nicola Cooke of the company telling Cork’s RedFM last month that it was positive for commuters.

“We would have 2,637 bus movements on a given day and one third of those are through Patrick’s Street.”

But Cork City councillor Tim Brosnan (FF) said the scheme would be bad for the city as a whole. He said that the plan would hurt small businesses in the city and was “hammering the character of the city”.

“It’s absolute madness.

“It would be as easy for the buses to go around St Patrick’s Street – it’s just as easy to walk to the South Mall or the quays.

“Bus Éireann is the one thing that’s not changing.

“It will affect people coming in and out of town.  Taking cars out won’t help the city or the buses – there’ll be traffic jams in the suburbs and other knock-on effects.

“They’re engineering things to a standstill.”

People Before Profit Cork expressed its support for the plan, but said that it highlighted the need to build a light rail system in Cork.

People Before Profit Cork representative Ed Fitzgerald said:

“Cork’s public transport has suffered from decades of under-investment and it is not surprising that over 60% of commuters in Cork use private cars. If more public transport facilities were provided, many would gladly opt to use them instead of private cars.”

Read: There’s already disagreement about where to put Cork’s Luas system

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