BUS Eireann has described as "disappointing" the decision to pause the Patrick Street private car ban until August 9.
The ban, which prevented cars from using the street between 3pm and 6.30pm daily, was “paused” following an emergency meeting of the city council last Friday night amid increasing pressure from businesses in the area, who said their business was impacted.
The pause will allow for further consultation with the business community and for a comprehensive promotional campaign.
“While it is disappointing that the bus priority measure on St Patrick’s Street, introduced as part of the Cork City Centre Movement strategy, is being postponed Bus Eireann will continue to work with all stakeholders to examine other opportunities that would see a positive impact on bus Journey times,” said a spokesperson for Bus Eireann.
The bus priority measures had led to an improvement in a number of bus route times, according to Director of Services for Roads and Transportation, Gerry O’Byrne, who spoke at last Friday’s meeting.
“Bus Eireann have confirmed that 208 route has recorded reductions in travel time of 13% in the City to Bishopstown direction and 28% on the City to Mayfield/Boherboy road direction,” he said.
“The 205 route, Kent Station to Patrick Street, Western road, College road and CIT, experienced reductions of 18%.
Mr O’Byrne added that Patrick street is “critically important to the broader City bus service” as around 40% of city services use the street each day, with 970 buses travelling it daily with a seating capacity of 60,000 people.
City councillor Ted Tynan said he spoke to Mayfield residents who use the 208 route.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Tynan said:
“With regards to the positive points set out by Gerry O’Brien, in relation to bus times, I have spoken to a number of Mayfield residents who use the 208 service on a daily basis.
“They are all quite happy about the improvement.”
Cllr Tynan added that the improved bus times were allowing workers, patients and students to get to the city centre, Cork University Hospital and University College Cork with greater ease and less travel time.