Options to minimise Cork parking spot losses

New options to minimise the loss of Cork city centre parking spaces have been drafted in a bid to secure delivery of a €6m revamp of a historic quay.

One option for the implementation of the Morrison’s Island scheme, which aims to integrate the city’s first flood defences with a significant public realm upgrade, will cost more and cause more disruption, warn officials.

The options, outlined in an internal report for city councillors, have emerged following a massive response from the public to the scheme’s Part 8 planning process.

There are about 150 parking spaces along the quay. The revamp would reduce that to 35, a loss of 115 spaces.

After 1,400 submissions, 72 of which expressed concerns about the scale of the reduction and some which welcomed the removal of parking, city officials have determined the scheme cannot be “considered in isolation to the recent concerns” about the afternoon car ban on St Patrick’s Street.

They have now given councillors two options on how the proposed revamp could be delivered and drafted a package of transport and transportation measures for consideration in the context of the two delivery options.

The package includes:

  • Amending the parallel parking layout between Parnell Bridge and Cork School of Music to a perpendicular layout, to add 23 parking spaces to the area;
  • Reducing the two-hour parking zones at Morrison’s Island and Union Quay to one hour, to encourage turnover of spaces;
  • Introduction of a discounted weekly ticket for the Black Ash park and ride, targeted at city centre workers and the promotion of the tax-saver scheme for commuters.

Officials have recommended the revamp be delivered under Option A, in one single contract, with the package of measures being introduced before or during the works.

They have provided an Option B which would see the revamp being implemented in two phases, with a gradual reduction in parking spaces over 18 months.

Under the first phase, the proposed 3m-wide riverside promenade would not be built immediately, and would instead be replaced with a tarmac surface to allow for the reinstatement of most of the parking. It would result in an overall loss of just 45 parking spaces, as opposed to 115.

An agreed number of the traffic and transportation measures would then be implemented before phase two, some 18 months later, which would involve the construction of the promenade and the inclusion of the 35 parallel parking spaces, as currently proposed.

Officials said Option A represents the best value for money and would minimise disruption.

They said Option B would delay the opportunity to regenerate and renew the area in a “meaningful way”, and said the area could remain prone to antisocial activity.

Councillors are expected to consider the Morrison’s Island scheme at Monday’s full city council meeting.


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