A TRAFFIC safety plan to protect pedestrians and cyclists in and around St Patrick’s Hill area is to be devised by City Hall engineers.
The area is home to several primary and secondary schools and Councillor Tim Brosnan (FF) has called on City Council to make contact with school authorities at St Angela’s Secondary School, Bruce College and Hewitt College on Patrick’s Hill, Scoil Mhuire secondary and junior schools in Sydney Place and Christian Brother College on Wellington Road to seek their input into plans.
Mr Brosnan said the matter of safety in the area is an “urgent matter” with Cork City Movement Strategy changes due to be implemented on Bridge Street and McCurtain Street.
This will see several changes on the quays area and includes the proposed reintroduction of two-way traffic on MacCurtain Street as well as street upgrades, such as wider footpaths and cycling facilities to encourage more pedestrian activity in the area.
Mr Brosnan believes the two-way traffic will lead to less parking spaces for school run pickups and this will have a knock-on effect on the surrounding areas.
“Cork City Council [should] reach out to [the school] to make a safety plan for school going pedestrians and cyclists and relieving traffic congestion in the general area,” he said.
“Bearing in mind the Council’s intent in relation to traffic flow changes in the Bridge Street and MacCurtain Street areas, a safety plan for the school going population is an essential prerequisite to any attempt to introduce traffic flow changes. The initiative must be initiated by Council officials now as an urgent health and safety measure,” he added.
Traffic in the area is often heavy at school peak time hours. Earlier this month, a car overturned during rush hour traffic, causing Gardaí to close the hill from the Wellington Road to the Youghal Road junction.
A report from City Hall’s roads and transportation directorate said the council will engage with the schools with a view to producing an area-wide travel plan but its success will be dependent on participation from all parties travelling to and from the schools.
“To be successful, this will require buy-in from schools, parents and students.
“In addition, the Cork City Movement Strategy will review the pedestrian connectivity between the schools and colleges and any measure identified will be implemented as part of the scheme,” it added.
The Council is already undertaking a review of traffic congestion on Wellington Road between York Hill and Sydney Hill to determine the extent of vehicle flow on foot of calls from local Councillor Joe Kavanagh (FG).
Mr Kavanagh has asked for engineers to explore the possibility of 45-degree parking paces along the side of the road, as opposed to the current 90-degree angle.
“There’s barely enough room in both areas for one line of traffic. Wellington Road, in particular, is highly dangerous. There are a number of schools in the area and this is leading to all kinds of public safety issues.
“These measures should go some way to alleviate the chronic traffic congestion on this particular stretch of road and enhance the safety of pedestrians, motorists and cyclists,” he added.