Blarney Street residents to discuss one-way plan with City Hall

Blarney Street residents to discuss one-way plan with City Hall
A UK-registered truck that was too large to make the turn from Friar's Avenue onto Blarney Street resulting in traffic delays in the area. Pic: Cllr Thomas Gould

The Blarney Street Residents' Association will liaise with Cork City Council road engineers and neighbouring electoral wards in devising a management to alleviate traffic problems.

The congested two-way street, the longest residential street in Ireland, is too narrow in parts to allow cars to pass each other at some points along the road, while residents are struggling to get parking outside their homes.

In addition, the area is attracting large trucks directed by satellite navigation systems despite the route and side roads being unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles.

A meeting was held at the Rock Community Centre in Blarney to gauge public opinion on the possibility of the street becoming one way.

“A traffic management plan is now what is required and we're looking for the support of the north-central and north-west wards,” said Residents' Association chairman Tom Coleman.

“The question is whether people want to go up or down. There is very little expenditure involved. If we can tease the issues out with engineers and when they come back with their plan, we'll put it to the people again,” he added.

Local resident Frank Tobin said: “[Blarney Street] needs to be cleared up all the way to Baker's Hill where it's wider. It's gone beyond the joke. One way is the only way to do it. Parked cars are getting scraped and destroyed, it's gone beyond the joke.” 

Other residents are asking for the road to be designated one way in certain areas but not the entire road.

Community Garda Eamonn O'Riordan said parking of unused vehicles was also an issue adding to traffic flow.

“There are cars not taxed and have been left on the street. I have taken away cars in Blarney Street in the last few weeks. If people ring us and tell us cars are untaxed and are not being used, they will be taken,” he said.

Sinn Féin Cllr Thomas Gould acknowledged the issue was complicated but highlighted the need for a Northern Ring Road to service the city and take traffic flow away from heavily populated areas. He suggested people submit the problems they identify to Cork City Council to inform any future traffic management plan.

Blarney Street resident and city councillor Lil O'Donnell described driving in the area as a “death trap” and a “nightmare” for people, while Kenneth Collins, a Sinn Féin councillor, said the issue should be subject to a plebiscite for local people.

Local TD Mick Barry said residents should draw up a list for city council engineers, while local Solidarity councillor and Blackpool resident Fiona Ryan said driving on Blarney Street gives her a “knot in the stomach”.

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