A MAJOR review of the city's parking policy is set to come before Cork City Council in the next fortnight.
The review, sought before the council broke for its summer recess, is to be reported on in the coming weeks. It is understood that City Hall officials have already met with a number of traders and business groups in relation to the review.
Independent councillor Mick Finn asked for the review of parking procedures in the city and surrounding suburbs in light of difficulties being experienced by residents and business owners.
He is calling for the Lord Mayor to chair crunch talks with all stakeholders to modernise and improve the city's parking infrastructure, making the city more attractive to motorists, shoppers and businesses.
"I'm delighted that business leaders, as well as aspiring council election candidates, have supported this move and I look forward to getting a report back from the Roads Directorate within a matter of weeks," Mr Finn said.
"We need to move away from parking revenue being the ultimate 'cash cow' for council if controls are turning people away from the city. I will be calling for a major policy review meeting with council, traders and business representative groups and will be asking Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald to chair it."
Mr Finn said he was also glad that council officials are finally 'seeing the light' regarding the potential use of parking meters.
"Several councillors have suggested this over the years and it was always batted away. When there's a will, there's a way," he said.
"We should also be looking at promoting our own North Main Street Car Park, which is the cheapest in the city and which would increase footfall in this area. Charge €1 per hour from now until Christmas and start filling the place up."
He also suggested providing well-policed areas for fast turnaround 30 minute and 1 hour parking.
"A suggestion by Cllr Sean Martin to use the side streets between South Mall and Oliver Plunkett Streets was shot down but I think it is a sound idea. These streets would be ideal for very short-term parking and for those who make quick trips to town," Mr Finn said.
"We must respond to people's needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to a parking regime."