‘City must act against Mahon Point vandals’

‘City must act against Mahon Point vandals’

The sensors and barriers of the bus-only connection between Mahon Point Shopping Centre and St Michael’s Drive have been damaged again. Picture: Jim Coughlan

CITY HALL has been told to “get to grips” with the repeated vandalism of the Mahon Point bus gate.

Local councillors have described the current situation of persistent vandalism as “a basket case” that benefits nobody.

The access gate — which is secured by sensor-operated barriers to allow buses through — directly connects the rear of the shopping centre to the St Michael’s Drive housing estate.

It has been vandalised on a number of occasions, and has been used by private vehicles regularly too, posing major traffic issues in the estate. Previously, sensors were ripped out of the ground and the barrier itself has been broken on a number of occasions.

Speaking at a meeting of Cork City Council, Fine Gael’s Des Cahill said that CCTV footage shows a number of council tenants “actively damaging this twice or three times”.

“We have to act,” Mr Cahill said.

“We either have to take the repair cost out of the maintenance grant approved for these tenants, or replace the gate with bollards that go up and down for the buses,” he added.

The former Lord Mayor said the current situation is “making a mockery of transport in Mahon”.

Fellow local councillor Chris O’Leary said that he has had ‘difficulties from day one’ with the gate.

“We got short-changed on this,” he said.

“The buses should have gone down the Link Road, into Mahon Point, and turned around there, not through the housing estate.

“The cost of installing, repairing and monitoring this bus gate in the long term will be enormous. We have the CCTV footage — we should be pursuing prosecutions.”

Fianna Fáil’s Terry Shannon told city officials to “get to grips with Mahon Point”.

“The gate has been opened at different times, blocking the footpaths in the housing estate and traffic pouring out,” he said.

“We need to get to grips with it by installing bollards or whatever is needed. It has to be dealt with.”

A spokesperson for City Hall’s roads directorate confirmed that “additional measures” are in place and that the gate will be monitoring it to ensure that it operates as intended.

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