Shoppers in Cork urged to buy into Patrick Street traffic ban

Mayor confident afternoon ban on cars will succeed despite failure of previous attempt

Street Entertainment on Patrick Street, Cork, on the first day of the afternoon ban on cars. Photograph: Jim Coughlan

Street Entertainment on Patrick Street, Cork, on the first day of the afternoon ban on cars. Photograph: Jim Coughlan

 

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, has urged shoppers to welcome the afternoon traffic ban in Patrick Street after a previous attempt to implement it earlier this year caused major confusion in the city.

Cllr Finn said he was confident of the success of the ban given the signficant information campaign and measures put in place following the teething problems which occurred when it was first introduced last spring.

“I think a lot of measures have been introduced to improve it this time around. The last time it was done too quickly without bringing traders and the general public on board.”

The afternoon ban on regular cars on the main thoroughfare got under way at 3pm on Thursday.

Handful of cars

Cyclist Alan Kingsley from Model Farm Road said he thought the ban had been postponed because he noticed a handful of cars still going down the city centre after the cut-off time.

Pensioner Ann Nagle of Roman Street said the ban didn’t make a difference to her day-to-day life as she always takes the bus to and from town. She said the atmosphere was good in the city centre and that even without cars Patrick Street was full of life.

“There are loads of people around, which is great. The only thing about it is that there is no Park & Ride from the northside. That is needed.”

Meanwhile, Bus Éireann and Transport for Ireland (TFI) have introduced new promotional fares to mark the reintroduction of bus priority measures on Patrick Street. The measures have “reduced some of our journey times significantly”, said Bus Éireann operations manager for the south Martin Walsh, and are “helpful in terms of combating traffic congestion”.

Pedestrian scheme

Cork City Council had agreed to pause the pedestrian scheme until Thursday to allow for engagement to increase awareness of the City Centre Movement Strategy.

The plan involves limiting the city’s main streets to buses, taxis, emergency vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians every day from 3pm to 6.30pm.

Incentives include extended hours in the Park & Ride bus service on the southside of the city, new set-down areas and half-price parking deals.