PUBLIC consultation on the introduction of a two-way system on MacCurtain Street will take place in 2019, senior officials at City Hall have confirmed.
It is an element of the fourth phase of works to be undertaken as part of the City Centre Movement Strategy (CCMS). To- date, the scheme has seen the introduction of the bus priority lane on Patrick Street, as well as significant changes to the traffic flow around Grenville Place, Prospect Row, South Mall, Castle Street and Parnell Place.
Phase four focuses largely on the quays area and proposes a series of improvements. It includes the proposed reintroduction of a two-way network on MacCurtain Street as well as street upgrades, such as wider footpaths and cycling facilities. Similar measures will be introduced on Camden Place, St Patrick’s Quay, and Penrose Quay to make the area more accommodating for shoppers, pedestrians and cyclists.
These works will be complemented by the Harley Street bridge construction, with the new pedestrian and cycle bridge due to be in place by the middle of next year.
Officials at City Hall’s roads department confirmed that work is already ongoing behind the scenes regarding the MacCurtain Street works.
They said: “Consultants have been appointed for next phases of the City Centre Movement Strategy and are working on data collection and preliminary analysis to inform the preliminary design which will go into the part 8 [planning application]. Public consultation will take place in 2019.”
Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council, said that the next step is of ‘significant importance’ for the improvement of public transport in the city centre and in terms of the fabric and look and feel of the city, as well as the sustainability and movement element of it.
“In order for the public transport to work, we have to make room on our roads and streets for buses to be prioritised. That is a very challenging thing to do.
“We talk a lot about future-proofing the city. That can be very difficult for the here and now but we need to be able to see the realisable benefits in the short-term to keep people connected.
“Some of those benefits are visible, like the offices that have been developed over the last four years, like One Albert Quay, Navigation Square and others.”