Cars banned from Patrick Street Cork
Cork City has banned all private cars on Patrick Street in the afternoons.
The Cork Business Association is reserving its judgement on the afternoon car ban until it has been analysed more closely as to its effects, saying that the plan will only work if it is managed properly.
Access to Patrick Street is now limited to buses, taxis, cyclists and emergency vehicles between 3pm and 6.30pm.
The purpose of the private car ban from Cork’s most famous street is to prioritise bus movements at very busy periods. A Cork City Council spokeswoman said the ban on cars during the peak period will reduce delays and ensure a more reliable bus service.
“All restrictions will be clearly signposted and we would ask drivers to pay particular attention to these signs and to be patient with other road users as they adjust to the new layout.”
The chief executive of the Cork Business Association, Lawrence Owens said the organisation supported the measures to improve public transport and movement through the city centre.
“We will monitor the results and, if it works, then fine but if it doesn’t work, then like all trials, it should be reversed,”
“The caveat we would put on it is that Cork City Council engage with the general public through the papers, radio, social media and ground signage so that they are fully aware of the changes because a time framed restriction like this can be very confusing for people.”
Mr Owen warned that there could be potential “mayhem” if the council fails to manage the scheme, adding that some drivers still attempt to proceed along Oliver Plunkett Street, which has been pedestrianised for 10 years.
On Oliver Plunkett Street where there in Cork, there are bollards to prevent people driving down the street but Patrick Street will not have any bollards as the street needs to remain open to other vehicles, such as buses, taxis and especially emergency vehicles.
Originally, the ban was planned to be from noon until 6.30pm but councillors reduced it over concerns from traders. The scheme is now being run on a trial basis.
Meanwhile, Cork City Council confirmed that a section of Bowling Green Street will be made two-way permanently to allow access to apartments, but there will be no access to Patrick Street thereafter.
To avoid Patrick Street during the afternoon period, the council has advised northbound traffic approaching from the South or West (Lough area, Wilton, Victoria Cross etc) via Dyke Parade or Wood Street to turn into Prospect Row before the Mercy Hospital.
Traffic approaching Patrick Street from Grand Parade will be diverted via Daunt Square and Cornmarket Street towards the quays, while there will be no access to Patrick’s Street from Academy Street.
Instead drivers can turn into Emmet Place (towards Cork Opera House) or drive on into Drawbridge Street and Perry Street but there will be no exit to Patrick Street from Drawbridge Street except for taxis, minibuses, emergency vehicles and cyclists.
Westbound traffic approaching from Merchant Quay will similarly be unable to turn onto Patrick Street and should proceed across on to Lavitt’s Quay and along Kyrl’s Quay and Bachelor’s Quay to Grattan Street to exit on to Washington Street and the Western Road.