Mahon Point Shopping Centre has been accused of bringing traffic chaos to nearby residential areas in a row over the operation of bus gates.
People living close to Mahon Point say the sensor-controlled barrier which is designed to facilitate only buses driving in and out of the shopping centre site was used over Christmas to ease car park congestion.
They say the bus gate’s sensors were blocked to ensure its barrier remained open and that it was done deliberately to allow cars exit the car park at busy times into nearby residential neighbourhoods.
It effectively created rat-runs through local communities.
Local resident and former city councillor Chris O’Leary said the centre has shown a “total disregard for the people of Mahon” by keeping the bus gate open and allowing traffic to leave via the private bus gate.
Mr O’Leary said the local community and the Loughmahon Residents' Group have taken action before and are willing to take action again.
“It is a designated bus corridor for buses only. They got funding from city hall and put in a roundabout so the bus could go in and out.
“They are alleviating traffic into local estates, cars are speeding and it is dangerous to the local community and residents are concerned.”
Mr O’Leary said there have been ongoing concerns for the last 15 years that Mahon Point can’t manage their own car park.
“We asked them to use a car counter so they would know when the carpark is full but they won’t.”
Mr O’Leary also highlighted that this is the first year Mahon Point didn’t have Cork On Ice and he was astonished, they still can’t manage the traffic.
“We are not complaining for no reason. If an accident like in Douglas happens, what will they do then? They don’t own the road, they can’t dictate.
“They were never meant to have control of the bus gate. It is illegal to let cars out the bus gate.”
Mr O’Leary said that the local residents wanted Cork City Council to follow up on the planning breach and also for Mahon Point to implement better traffic management.
“We want them to consult residents about traffic management and employ someone who knows what they are doing.”
Mr O’Leary said they would also be seeking a meeting with the planners and also writing to the National Transport Authority (NTA) to see if they were aware of the ongoing violation.
A representative from Mahon Point Shopping Centre has been contacted for comment.