Major upgrades planned for bus passengers on St Patrick’s Quay

Major upgrades planned for bus passengers on St Patrick’s Quay
The lack of facilities is an issue for bus users on Patrick's Quay.Pic: Larry Cummins

'MAJOR upgrades' of Patrick's Quay's coach parking area are expected in 2018 - but one city councillor is calling on private bus operators to pay for it.

Patrick's Quay remains one of the busiest areas in Cork city due to the number of privately-run coaches using the area as a drop-off point.

However, the lack of dedicated facilities, including lighting and shelter, have resulted in a huge number of calls for upgrades in the area.

Officials at City Hall have confirmed that these upgrades are in the pipeline, following an NTA-funded examination of potential locations and drop-off points.

Patrick's Quay was reviewed as part of this process and was determined to be 'a highly desirable bus stop for both service providers and passengers' due to its proximity to the city centre.

However, the report also identified a series of shortcomings in the area.

The lack of shelter and the poor waiting environment were chief among the concerns, as was the lack of lighting, the absence of tourist information or maps, the conflict between buses, passengers and other road users when it comes to accessing the drop-off point and the lack of facilities for the mobility impaired.

A spokesperson for the city's roads directorate said that there are plans to improve the facilities in the area.

"Improvement proposals have been prepared for St Patricks Quay on foot of the approved coach parking strategy and it is expected that funding will be provided by the National Transport Authority to enable completion of the necessary works," a report said.

The spokesperson added that these 'major upgrades' will take place either in 2018 due to NTA funding or as part of the next stage of the Cork City Centre Movement Strategy which aims to revamp traffic flows in the MacCurtain St area in the coming years.

Workers' Party councillor Ted Tynan hit out at the lack of facilities in the area.

"There is a poor waiting environment, it is dark at night," he said.

"Honestly, I am amazed that there hasn't been a fatality in the area, it is highly dangerous."

Mr Tynan said that Cork City Council should be not accountable for upgrading the area, though.

"If these private operators, some of which are making huge profits, want to use these facilities, they need to pay for them.

"They are showing contempt to their customers and to this city by acting in this manner. Cork City Council is talking about getting funding from the NTA to solve the problem but the onus should be on the bus companies."

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