City councillor wants to force vote on car ban reversal

City councillor wants to force vote on car ban reversal
Patrick St during the car ban. Picture: Denis Minihane.

A COUNCILLOR is hoping to force City Hall into debating and voting on the reversal of the Patrick Street car ban and the City Centre Movement Strategy.

Fianna Fáil’s Ken O’Flynn is seeking the support of two other councillors to trigger a Section 140 meeting which would see the controversial and much-debated transport policies implemented by the Council discussed and voted on at a specially-convened meeting within seven days.

The private car ban, in place from 3pm to 6.30pm each day, was reintroduced in August.

At a Council meeting last month, councillor Paudie Dineen (IND) said the ban on private cars should be scrapped at weekends and bank holidays, while Tim Brosnan called for the overall City Centre Movement Strategy to be suspended as it is “not delivering efficient public transport”.

Some businesses have been highly critical of the car ban, but others, particularly pub owners, have embraced it, saying it encourages an after-work pub culture. 

Buses getting priority on Patrick St. Credit: Damian Coleman
Buses getting priority on Patrick St. Credit: Damian Coleman

Mr O’Flynn said the matter now needs to be debated and voted on once and for all. He said the City Centre Movement Strategy was implemented “at the wrong time” and believes park and ride facilities to the north, west and south of the city should be introduced to tally with better public transport.

“We have given this time, we’ve had the three months reverse, we’ve brought in new measures as a Council and it just hasn’t worked.

“A Section 140 is one of the last bastions of local government. I have the commitment of one councillor and I am looking for a third.

“Most councillors that I have asked for support have shied away from it because it would upset the executive. I’m hoping some of them would see sense and realise their duty is to the people of the city and not the Council’s management system.

“Let’s have our resolve, sign the document and vote on it and cut out the nonsense of directing this to committee level.

“I believe the overwhelming body of retailers in Cork city support [the City Centre Movement Strategy], but what is wrong with this is that we have put the cart before the horse once again and tried to implement something that is not only unimplementable, but is actually bad for our city, its business model and its reputation,” he added.

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