Cork councillors vote to suspend Patrick Street car ban

Restrictions lifted for three months following claims by traders of up to 40% loss of business

Cork City Council has decided to suspend the controversial afternoon car ban on Patrick Street for three months following concerns from city traders who claim their business has reduced by up to 40 per cent as a result of the ban.

Councillors voted unanimously at a special meeting of Cork City Council on Friday to suspend the implementation of the ban of private cars, between 3pm and 6.30pm, on Patrick Street until August 9th when the issue will be re-examined.

The move came on foot of a motion by Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and was supported by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, Independents and smaller parties, with all 26 councillors present from the 31-member body voting in favour of suspending the ban.

The council also agreed to continue with incentives introduced by the council in the last week to entice people into the city centre. These include free park-and-ride from the Kinsale Road and two hours’ free parking in the municipally-owned Paul Street and North Main Street car parks.



Around 40 members of the Cork Business Association (CBA), who had lobbied councillors over the past week to reverse the ban, introduced on March 27th, watched as councillors debated the motion.

CBA chief executive Lawrence Owens welcomed the decision, saying it gives Cork City Council and traders breathing space to work together to address issues surrounding access to Cork city centre, where some businesses have reported a drop of 40 per cent trade since the car ban began.

“We welcome the decision by Cork City Council unanimously tonight to pause the current restrictions on Patrick Street. I think it is a very positive move, it’s probably a difficult decision for Cork City Council but nevertheless it’s the right one,” he said.

“It gives Cork City Council, ourselves in the business community and our customers time to reflect on how we can engage over the coming months so in August, if this is being reintroduced, that it is done in a much more customer-friendly way. We’ve got a breathing space and now we need to use it.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times