Mixed views as 30km/h speed limit rolled out

THERE were mixed views on the streets of Cork as new bylaws reducing the speed limit to 30km/h in parts of Cork city centre were implemented yesterday.

The 30km/h speed limit, which equates to just over 18 miles per hour, will affect a number of streets in the heart of the city centre.

Patrick Street, Grand Parade, Oliver Plunkett St, North Main St and Cornmarket St will all be affected.

Taxi driver Colm Buckley from Carrigaline said he didn’t think the new speed limit would make any difference.

“I don’t think it’s a good or bad thing. You’re not going to travel faster down those streets. I don’t think there was any need for it to be introduced, it was already there.”

Public relations officer of the Cork Business Association, Claire Nash said the new limit would help target anti-social behaviour after main business hours.

“The streets of Cork are fairly wide, we are trying to prevent this cruising at top speed during the night.”

Ms Nash also said it would make Cork a safer place to shop.

However, Tom Murphy, who owns Tom Murphy’s Menswear, said that making Cork more shopper friendly can only be done by improving city parking —not by reducing speed limits.

Mr Murphy said that in the 14 years he has been working in the city centre, he has only witnessed one accident caused by speeding in the city.

“I work in the city everyday looking out onto Patrick’s street and I have never seen cars bombing it. I don’t think there will be benefits as there are already so many traffic lights preventing traffic from travelling too fast.”

Mr Murphy also said when the traffic volumes were low, such as in the evenings and night, the speed reductions should be reversed.

Cork Chamber yesterday suggested a trial period after a similar system had mixed results in Dublin.

However, Noel Tummon from Cork City Council said speed surveys would be conducted over the next few weeks. After a €20 million city centre refurbishment in recent years, the official added: “The whole idea is to add value to all the work done.”

Another taxi driver, Noel Buckley, agreed the new restrictions would have little impact in daylight hours.

“It won’t affect people during the day although at night it will. The limit is very slow when there isn’t traffic. It’ll be hard to see if it is implemented during the day as traffic never moves faster anyway.”

Truck driver Michael Griffin from Douglas said the real issue in the city centre was jaywalking.

“With all the traffic lights in the city speeding isn’t a problem. However it could help combat boy racing.”

Liam O’Reilly from Greenmount also claimed jaywalking was becoming a serious problem for drivers.

“Most of the time you are crawling on the streets in the city so speed isn’t an issue, however, jaywalking is a massive problem in Cork and that is something they really should be tackling,” the taxi driver said.

Mr O’Reilly said that while the speed limits may combat anti-social behaviour such as boy racing, it will also be a hindrance to taxi drivers who regularly have to cross the city.

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