City Hall: 'Give Patrick Street changes a chance'

City Hall: 'Give Patrick Street changes a chance'

Patrick Street, during the first traffic restrictions on the street from 3pm to 6.30pm in March. Picture: Denis Minihane

CITY Hall chief Ann Doherty has urged the public to give the Patrick Street bus priority measures “a fair chance” when they are reintroduced tomorrow.

The changes were pulled last April after a few weeks of implementation after uproar from traders, who claimed it caused a decline in footfall.

A revamped plan, including a suite of measures to entice customers into the city centre, will be in place from Thursday afternoon.

Ms Doherty said: “What we would ask is that people give it a fair chance. You can’t make a judgement in day one or two or three. It does need a period of time to bed in and obviously for people to get used to it as people do with change. People just need to get used to using these new initiatives and that is what we would ask that people work together with us.”

Business groups and traders have supported the measures this time around, with many citing the incentives, which include an extended park-and-ride network, new set-down bays and discounted parking charges, as positive for the city.

English Market fishmonger Pat O’Connell said many traders are on board with the new initiative.

“There is a realism out there that we need to change the traffic flows. That there is going to be big trouble very shortly with the amount of traffic that is coming into the city, so I there is a knowledge there that that has to be changed but I don’t think that was highlighted the last time.”

CBA CEO Lawrence Owens said the big difference this time compared to last time is the communication with the public.

“One of the sins we were all guilty of was not getting information out to the general public. We confused them and they didn’t come in and my hope is with that level of information and also businesses more onboard and a lot of measures there to encourage people to come into the city, they will come.”

Director of roads at City Hall, Gerry O’Beirne said the projected population growth in the city underlines the importance of making the changes.

“The transport system has to be changed, has to be modernised and it is proven that developing public transport into something that is really reliable is part of that process.”

Mr O’Beirne said the council would be open to tweaks should they be needed over the coming weeks.

“Any scheme that the council introduce will always be monitored and will always be adapted at it is rolled out. It is inevitable that changes will have to be made in this scheme.”

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