Bus firms told to pay up for passenger facilities

Private bus operators should help fund the construction of proper drop-off and pick-up facilities for their passengers in Cork city.

Bus firms told to pay up for passenger facilities

The call came from Worker’s Party Cllr Ted Tynan who described the situation around the coach and private bus stop area on St Patrick’s Quay as a potentially dangerous and “chaotic free-for-all”.

“It’s dangerous, with people walking out between buses, into the line of traffic, carrying backpacks and hand-luggage. It’s been like that for several years and I’m amazed that there hasn’t been a serious accident there. It’s only down to pure luck,” he said.

During a debate on transport issues at the last meeting of Cork City Council, officials said councillors approved a coach parking strategy for the city about two years ago, on foot of a National Transport Authority (NTA) assessment of potential pick-up and drop-off stops within the city centre.

The study found St Patrick’s Quay to be a “highly desirable” bus stop for both service providers and passengers, given its close proximity to the city centre.

However, officials said in a report that the use of this area has increased and the “shortcomings of St Patrick’s Quay have become increasingly apparent”, including:

  • A poor waiting environment, with no defined passenger waiting areas, no shelter for passengers, it is dark and poorly lit;
  • There is limited passenger information with no timetables, no local area maps or signage to destinations;
  • There are no special kerbside modifications or other infrastructure for the mobility impaired;
  • There is a conflict between buses and cars dropping off or collecting passengers.

“It is accepted that in order to address the above, additional bus stop facilities will have to be provided, and the existing facilities on St Patrick’s Quay and elsewhere will have to be rationalised and improved,” the report read.

City engineers have prepared improvement proposals and it is understood that NTA funding will be provided to complete the upgrade works next year.

But Mr Tynan said the private bus companies who operating from the quay should cover either the full cost, or make a contribution: “Some of these companies are part of large international operations and they are coining it. They could well afford to put in the necessary infrastructure. If these companies want to run a private service, I believe they should provide their own facilities.”

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