Park and ride to be extended to city centre ahead of the car ban return

Park and ride to be extended to city centre ahead of the car ban return
Patrick's Street during the ban on private cars in May. Picture: Denis Minihane.

NEW stops on Grand Parade and South Mall are to be added to the Black Ash Park and Ride as part of a suite of measures to increase footfall in the city centre when the Patrick Street car ban is reinstated in August.

The loss-making park and ride service, run by Cork City Council, currently stops on Lapp’s Quay but will now continue further into the city centre, with between six and eight drop-off locations and services every 15 minutes. The new proposals, which have yet to be formally agreed, are an attempt to appease traders ahead of the proposed reintroduction of a car ban on Patrick Street in August.

Black Ash Park & Ride service currently stops on Lapp's Quay but is to be rerouted to Parnell Place, Merchant's Quay, Patrick's Street, Grand Parade and South Mall. Pic; Larry Cummins
Black Ash Park & Ride service currently stops on Lapp's Quay but is to be rerouted to Parnell Place, Merchant's Quay, Patrick's Street, Grand Parade and South Mall. Pic; Larry Cummins

The Patrick Street ban on private cars, between the hours of 3pm to 6.30pm, was introduced in March of this year but was withdrawn less than a month later following an angry backlash from local businesses. The ban was paused until August 9 to allow for further consultation between the council and stakeholders, as well as a comprehensive campaign to promote public transport in the area.

The new park and ride route will travel along Parnell Place, Merchant’s Quay, Patrick Street, Grand Parade and South Mall.

City Hall is also looking at new set down zones in the city centre which would allow motorists to park for 10 minutes without needing parking discs.

Up to ten meetings have taken place between traders and City Hall representatives to find a solution to the car ban impasse.

The park and ride proposals and the other measures are to be put to traders in the weeks ahead to try to secure agreement on a way forward.

Independent city councillor Paudie Dineen said that the park and ride changes will increase footfall for traders and instil confidence in the Cork City Movement Strategy, which includes the ban on private cars.

“The Black Ash Park & Ride has been running at a loss for many years and bringing it into the heart of the city should most definitely turn this around,” he said.

“I have been pushing for this for the past three years as I feel that it is a very important cog in the wheel that will enhance footfall into the City Centre. This is a move that should be welcomed with open arms,” he said.

“It will now be up to the public to have faith in the Park & Ride and ensure that it is used to its fullest potential,” he added.

The proposals will be discussed with councillors on Monday.

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