Cork businesses concerned over plans to cut 115 parking spaces

Lawrence Owens, chief executive of the Cork Business Association. Pic: Dan Linehan

Cork Business Association members have expressed concern about the proposed reduction of a large number of parking spaces in the city centre and the closure of St Patrick’s Street to traffic.

The loss of 115 car-parking slots at Morrison’s Island to facilitate a planned flood relief scheme and the traffic ban on the city’s main thoroughfare dominated the latest CBA meeting.

CBA chief executive Lawrence Owens said the business community welcomes the relief works planned for Morrison’s Island, primarily as it is the area where flooding waters spill out into the rest of the city centre.

It is also welcome news, he said, that once the flood relief works are finished, the city council plans to carry out a major public realm enhancement scheme at Morrison’s Island.

“We 100% support that as the area is quite derelict and hasn’t seen any improvement works in the last 50 to 60 years,” he said.

Mr Owens said businesses are greatly concerned about the loss of so many central parking spaces. “The city council want to remove 115 spaces which will leave about 40 or 50 on Morrison’s Island. This is the single biggest removal of car parking spaces ever seen in the city.

“We’re concerned that this will have a knock-on effect.

The average turnover of each parking space is four times a day. That would amount to around 150,000 cars not being able to park there each year and there’s no ‘plan B’ coming from the city council to address this.

Mr Owens said City Hall would have to find alternative parking spaces to negate the impact of the loss of those on Morrison’s Island, in the interim, until proper bus services and park-and-ride facilities are established to serve shoppers.

Issues surrounding the closure of St Patrick’s Street to cars from 3pm to 6.30pm daily was also raised at the midweek meeting.

“There was a lot of confusion when the ban was implemented last week. I know it is a trial period and it’s only in the early stages,” said Mr Owens.

“But this is a period when the schools are off and, even with less traffic coming in and out of the city, it will put additional pressure on the city quays, causing logjams.”

Having surveyed the association’s members seeking opinions on the car ban, Mr Owens said the CBA “didn’t get one positive response”.

“As far as we are concerned, it’s not working. We have written to the city manager and the director of services for roads and told them that,” said Mr Owens.

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