THE Green Party has called for the extension of the St Patrick’s St car ban.
The ban was introduced early last year and sees private cars banned from Cork city’s main street between 3pm and 6.30pm daily.
Green Party city councillor Oliver Moran said the ban should begin at noon.
“If it’s to work, we need people to think of Patrick’s St as a place you simply don’t drive normally,” he said, adding that some motorists seem to be unaware of the ban or seem to think it is not in effect anymore.
“When the restrictions were first introduced there was a plan to gradually increase the hours,” he added.
“I think it’s time to consider starting it at noon.
“People have seen now that the sky won’t fall in and we can start being more serious about it.”
Mr Moran also called for the bus priority lane to be extended closer to the junction at Washington St and for clearer road markings to ensure drivers are aware of the restrictions on private cars.
Meanwhile, a member of the city’s joint policing committee has said that drivers who violate the private car ban on St Patrick St must suffer the consequences in order to ensure the ban is effective.
Dr Darren McAdam O’Connell was speaking after The Echo revealed that 66 people have been issued with fines for defying the private car ban on St Patrick’s St so far this year.
He said that the gardaí have issued 82 fines in total since the ban was brought into effect more than a year ago.
“It’s over 400 days since these measures were introduced so that means roughly once every five days.
“Yet, if you stand on Patrick’s St any day during those hours you will see a dozen motorists breaking the law within a minute or two,” he said.
“It’s utterly unreasonable to expect the gardaí to stop every single one of these but it’s also utterly unreasonable to fine only one every five days.
“There needs to be a reasonable expectation that if you break the law you will suffer the consequences.”
The climate activist group Extinction Rebellion Cork took to St Patrick’s St during the hours of the ban on Sunday to ensure that the street was only used by traffic permitted to use it, such as buses and taxis.