PEDESTRIANISATION of The Marina could form part of plans for a redevelopment of the area, but city councillors remain divided on whether a total car ban should be implemented.
Work is expected to begin soon on the construction of a new multi-million redevelopment of The Marina Park, which will extend from Shandon Boat Club to the docklands over 22 hectares.
The park will encompass the former Cork Showgrounds site, which was demolished in 2017. There have been calls to include the pedestrianisation of The Marina road, from the end of Centre Park Road to Blackrock village.
Former Lord Mayor Terry Shannon (FF) said The Marina Park project should be separated from the pedestrianisation of The Marina itself.
He asked City Hall to carry out traffic studies in order to move forward with restricting vehicle access to The Marina on Sundays.
Councillor Des Cahill (FG) said he supported Mr Shannon’s calls for the pedestrianisation to be de-coupled from The Marina Park project to enable it to be done faster.
“The fact is that from day one, The Marina road was never part of The Marina Park development, it was part of Blackrock village development and the majority of that development is ready.”
However, Chris O’Leary (SF) said he doesn’t think there is public support for restricting all vehicle access to The Marina and has called for height restriction barriers to be reintroduced on either side of the road to restrict access for heavy good vehicles instead.
“There is an issue in regards to traffic, but I don’t believe there is support for it.
“I’m asking the question on the ground and I’m hearing that people are horrified to see The Marina only for pedestrians.
“Marina Park itself needs to be better and have better facilities, but the area is used by people in Blackrock village daily.
“One of the key things that was highlighted to me is that the height barrier by Páirc Uí Chaoimh has been open for the last number of years.
“I have requests to close it because there are a lot of heavy-goods vehicles that are using the road — which it is not suitable for. They are taking a shortcut down the Marina so they don’t have to go through Ballintemple.”
Running groups have suggested that 5k runs could take place if the road was shut off to traffic on weekends.
The issue was raised with City Hall director of environmental services Valerie O’Sullivan, who said the regulation of traffic on The Marina is a matter for the roads and transportation departments.