TRADERS in Cork city’s Middle Parish area have reacted angrily to changes in parking times which will see parking charges apply for an extra two hours a day.
Businesses were made aware of the changes, due to take effect from April 18, in a letter from Cork City Council yesterday.
Parking charges will now be applied from 8.30am to 8.30pm on Mondays through Saturdays. Previously parking had been free after 6.30pm.
North Main Street multi-storey car park will now open seven days a week and will have its opening hours extended from 7.30am to 9.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and from 11.30am to 9.30pm on Sundays. The measures are in addition to on-street pay parking being reduced from two hours to one hour in order to facilitate spaces for local residents.
The letter from City Council read: “On-street parking spaces are provided for those who wish to park for a relatively short period of time. Maintaining a turnover of these spaces is critical and is achieved by mixing time and rate to ensure some level of available spaces, to reduce congestion on the street network and to support the needs of residents.”
The City Council said they had consulted with local residents and businesses on the changes.
The owner of Fenn’s Quay restaurant on Sheares Street, Kate Lawlor, said the extended pay parking hours were another blow to traders who have seen rates increase and would be counterproductive in attracting people into the city.
“I’d like to know what businesses they actually consulted on it. We weren’t consulted on it and we have parking all around us,” she said. “I understand that residents are angry and they need the change from one hour to two hours so that they can actually get parking, but to add two hours onto paid parking on top of that doesn’t make sense for the area at all.
“I don’t know how it’s supposed to encourage people to come into the city.
“They are trying to encourage people to use North Main Street car park but it’s very out of the way... If you’re coming into the city at night you want to know that you’ll be able to walk to your car and not have to walk into a multi-storey car park late at night. People don’t like that because it’s secluded and it’s dark.”
Cork Business Association chief Lawrence Owens said the changes were part of the City Centre Movement Strategy.
“They have extended out the disc parking timeframe to try and put better controls on parking mechanisms up there for the residents,” he said. “There is a methodology and a logic behind.
The streets affected are Adelaide St, Anne St, Bachelor’s Quay, Coach St, Grattan St, Grenville Place, Henry St, James St, Liberty St, Little Hanover St, Moore St, Peters St, Prospect Row and Sheares St. Washington St and Dyke Parade’s parking remains as it was.