Talks aim to resolve traffic management in Cork city

Talks are underway in a bid to resolve traffic management issues in Cork city in the wake of the St Patrick’s Street afternoon car ban controversy.

Trader representatives met yesterday with representatives of Cork City Council as part of the Core group, set up almost two years ago to deal with city centre issues in a partnership approach.

It was the first Core meeting since the suspension on April 20 of the car ban after just three weeks.

A spokesman for City Hall confirmed last night that raising awareness of the overall strategy and vision behind the City Centre Movement Strategy, of which the St Patrick’s St car ban is a key part, was discussed.

He said the development of a city centre marketing campaign was also discussed and a marketing sub-committee has been established to work on this.

However, he said yesterday marked the start of what will be a long process of engagement and consultation.

The Cork Business Association (CBA) welcomed the start of that engagement.

CBA chief executive Lawrence Owens said extensive engagement and consultation, in particular with traders who run businesses on the street, will be required over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, he said, the CBA hopes to harness the energy which emerged during the campaign against the car ban, and use it in a positive way for the benefit of the city.

He said they are due to meet several business owners today to discuss a package of potential promotional initiatives, some of which could be launched as early as next week.

Private cars were banned, and a time-regulated bus lane was introduced on the city’s main street on March 27 in a bid to improve bus travel times.

However, the daily 3pm-6.30pm ban on private cars was met with opposition.

Traders claimed it hit footfall and decimated afternoon trade.

Despite early indications of improved journey times on two key suburban bus routes, city councillors voted unanimously on April 20 to suspend the measure until August 9 to facilitate consultation and engagement with traders.

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