City traders' concerns over loss of 100 parking spaces on Morrison's Island

City traders' concerns over loss of 100 parking spaces on Morrison's Island
Flood Defence Public Realm upgrade for Morrison's Island

CITY businesses have raised concerns about the loss of more than 100 parking spaces on Father Mathew Quay and Morrison's Island.

As part of the public realm upgrade and flood defence project planned for the area, it is proposed that the number of parking spaces along the flood-prone quay would reduce from 150 to 40.

Parking in the area will be reorientated and will run parallel to the river instead of perpendicular. Spaces will be removed to make way for the development of a three-metre shared cycle and pedestrian pathway.

The plans are currently on display at City Hall and online with the local authority encouraging the public to make submissions.

Philip Gillivan, president of Cork Business Association, said that parking is a regular topic during consultation with CBA members regarding the scheme.

"It is a big cause for concern, particularly for businesses in the South Mall," he said.

"They are talking about taking out 100 spaces. There's no sugar-coating it: that's a big loss in a city. Nobody can put a positive slant on it.

"We are hoping that the City Council can come up with an alternative plan elsewhere to replace these spaces but, at the moment, we haven't heard any update on this."

Further spaces will be lost nearby at White Street car park, which is to undergo a partial regeneration to deliver a housing scheme.

Mr Gilivan said that it is time to rethink the city's parking and public transport infrastructure.

"I understand why we want to move people out of cars and why we want to create a space for people to go but, currently, people are reliant on their cars," he said.

"Until that changes with a Luas or a rapid bus network, parking is going to remain important. But it must be noted; there is an average of 200 free spaces in North Main Street car park every single. It might not be an ideal location for everyone, but there are spaces in the city."

Mr Gillivan encouraged everyone to take advantage of the public consultation period. Diagrams, videos and a prototype can be viewed at City Hall currently.

Two information days will take place on February 26 and March 9 and submissions can also be made on consult.corkcity.ie.

If plans are approved, it will go to tender by May and construction will begin in the Autumn. It will be completed within twelve months, ahead of winter 2019.

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