Extended pay-parking times due to come into effect in a busy part of Cork City next week have been slated, writes Eoin English.
Residents and business owners vented anger yesterday at the new on-street parking regime which will, from next Tuesday, affect parking on dozens of streets between Grenville Place on the west to Liberty St and Grattan St to the east, including an area around the Mercy University Hospital.
Details of the new arrangements, agreed by councillors last September as part of the first two phases of the ambitious City Centre Movement Strategy, were distributed to homes and businesses in the affected areas yesterday.
The changes will see on-street parking duration reduced from two hours to one. Pay-parking times are being extended by two hours — from the existing 8.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday arrangement, to 8.30am to 8.30pm from next Tuesday.
Cork City Council said it plans to extend, from April 18, the opening hours at North Main St car park to seven days a week — 7.30am to 9.30pm, Monday to Saturday, and 11.30am to 9.30pm on Sundays.
The council said long-term parking opportunities for people working in the area will also be made available.
“On-street parking spaces are provided for those who wish to park for a relatively short period,” it said.
“Maintaining a turnover of these spaces is critical and is achieved by mixing time and rate to ensure some level of available spaces, to reduce congestion on the street network, and to support the needs of residents.”
Fenn’s Quay head chef Kate Lawlor was among those who criticised the increased pay-parking duration. “As a small business I feel these new parking times are not conducive to helping businesses thrive in our city or encouraging people to shop local when they can go to suburban shopping centres where parking is free.”
This article first appeared in the Irish Examiner.