Calls for exclusion zone 2km from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

There have been calls for a 2km traffic exclusion zone around Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh during big games amid claims that parking by some matchgoers is now a threat to public safety.

Senior gardaí have also agreed to re-examine the use of the city’s only park and ride bus service to bring matchgoers to the stadium.

This is despite Garda safety fears stemming from an incident in 2013 when a handful of matchgoers walked along the South Link Road back to the park and ride car park at Black Ash.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Terry Shannon, who represents the area around the stadium, told a meeting of the Cork City joint policing committee that some of the parking he has seen in neighbouring estates during recent inter-county clashes was chaotic and dangerous. 

 

“Cars were abandoned on footpaths, on street corners and on green areas. It’s a threat to public safety in my parish.”

 

He called for an overhaul of the stadium’s mobility plan, and for its parking control measures to be extended up to 2km from the stadium to take in areas in Ballinlough, and close to Douglas.

He also said he can see no reason why the park and ride cannot be used to get people to and from bigger games.

“People walking on the South Link Rd is a policing matter. That shouldn’t prevent us from using the park and ride. I support the redevelopment of the stadium, but it has to be on the basis that we have proper mobility plan around the stadium. We have some breathing space now over the summer to develop a proper plan.”

Sinn Féin Cllr Chris O’Leary, chairman of the JPC, said he will invite stadium managers to appear before the committee to discuss these and other event management issues.

“There are huge issues around event management. I don’t know of many places that would get away with what Páirc Uí Chaoimh thinks it can get away with.”

Chief Supt Barry McPolin said it must be accepted that big games or events in the stadium will cause disruption in the neighbouring areas but he agrees that use of the park and ride should be examined. He also insists gardaí are taking enforcement action against illegally parked cars in the area.

“It might appear as if people are getting away with it because there is no ticket under the windscreen, but they are not. Fixed charge notices are being issued through the digital system.”

Senator Jerry Buttimer said the parking and traffic situation has improved around the stadium somewhat, but he said there are a number of pinch points that still need to be addressed.

However, Fianna Fáil Cllr Sean Martin and Fine Gael Cllr John Buttimer urged caution against too much criticism.

“The stadium revamp is a success story for the city. This is a jewel for us as a city.” said Mr Martin.

“We do not need the message to go out that ‘you will be clamped or towed’. And I don’t agree with an extended exclusion zone which will just push the problem out further. There will be teething problems in the first 12-months but we need to identify the problems and work together to resolve them.”

Mr Buttimer said: “The stadium revamp is a huge success for Cork. We need to avoid negative momentum building up behind these issues.”


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