Major changes to the traffic system in Cork city centre, including a partial ban on cars on St Patrick’s Street, resulted in a sharp drop in the number of motorists fined for illegal parking in the city last year.
New figures provided by Cork City Council show there was a 17% reduction in the number of fines issued by traffic wardens in 2018.
A total of 29,629 fines were issued last year — over 6,100 fewer than the previous year — at over 580 different locations around the city and inner suburbs.
There was an associated reduction in the value of parking fines issued last year which fell to just over €1.3m — a decrease of €240,500 compared to 2017.
South Mall remains both the top blackspot for catching illegally parked motorists not only in Cork City, but the entire country — with a daily average of six vehicles on the busy thoroughfare fined last year — despite a 5% drop in overall numbers.
A total of 2,312 parking tickets were issued on South Mall last year — over 100 fewer than in 2017.
The number of fines issued in relation to cars parked on St Patrick’s Street, which was the second worst illegal parking blackspot in Cork in 2017, more than halved last year.
The large decrease is attributed to the introduction of a controversial afternoon ban on cars as part of measures to improve bus prioritisation on the city’s main street and make the city centre more attractive to pedestrians.
A total of 719 fines were issued to motorists parked illegally on St Patrick’s Street last year compared to 1,491 in 2017.
Morrison’s Quay is now the second most likely place in the city to be fined for illegal parking and one of the few locations last year where the number of fines issued increased.
Sullivan’s Quay, which was another traditional blackspot for illegal parking, experienced a 66% reduction in fines in 2018 — down almost 600 to just 290.
Other locations where there were significant drops in parking fines issued last year include Grand Parade, MacCurtain St, and Magazine Road.
Standard penalties range from €40 for parking on a double-yellow line to €60 for not having a motor tax disc.
The majority of tickets are issued before lunchtime, with 12pm-1pm the most likely period to be fined.