‘Patrick St is effectively lawless when it comes to transport': Calls for Pana ban enforcement to be ramped up

‘Patrick St is effectively lawless when it comes to transport': Calls for Pana ban enforcement to be ramped up

There has been fresh criticism surrounding lack of enforcement of the measure, introduced in 2018, since the installation on Patrick St of the costly ‘CityTrees’, which filter pollutants.

A CORK city councillor has said Patrick St is “effectively lawless when it comes to transport” and has called for more enforcement of the ‘Pana ban’.

There has been fresh criticism surrounding lack of enforcement of the measure, introduced in 2018, since the installation on Patrick St of the costly ‘CityTrees’, which filter pollutants.

“One of the ironies of installing the City Trees on Patrick St is that Pana is supposed to be already restricted to private cars and all of the pollution that goes with them,” said Green Party councillor Oliver Moran, who supports a permanent ban on private cars on Patrick St.

“It’s the responsibility of the gardaí to enforce that law, but they appear entirely uninterested,” he said.

At last week’s launch of the Cork City Council 2021-2026 Air Quality Strategy and unveiling of the CityTrees, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher said the Pana ban needs to be reviewed, with more focus on enforcement.

“It was mentioned to me that while these [CityTrees] were being put up the other day that 115 cars passed in the middle of the Patrick St ban, so I do believe we need to look at that,” he said.

“Part of the problem is that the restrictions are only part-time,” said Green Party councillor Mr Moran.

“I took part in a direct action in 2019 to stop private cars entering the street.

“The hours of operation should be extended so that the message is clear that Patrick St is no place for private cars,” he added.

“But so long as it goes unenforced, Patrick St is effectively lawless when it comes to transport, which is incredible when you realise it.”

Under the so-called ‘Pana ban’, private cars are banned from the city’s main street every day from 3pm to 6.30pm, with access to bus lanes restricted to public transport, taxis, cyclists, and emergency vehicles.

Mr Moran said it is critical that the issue of people flouting the rules is cracked down upon now, before the redevelopment of Cork’s bus network.

“There is a big-picture issue here that’s going to get even more serious when Bus Connects routes are rolled out across the city,” he said.

Cllr. Oliver Moran said it is critical that the issue of people flouting the rules is cracked down upon now, before the redevelopment of Cork’s bus network. Picture Denis Minihane.
Cllr. Oliver Moran said it is critical that the issue of people flouting the rules is cracked down upon now, before the redevelopment of Cork’s bus network. Picture Denis Minihane.

“Forty percent of our climate-change emissions come from transport.

“We need to shift gears from cars to public transport, walking, and cycling.

“That’s what BusConnects is about, but if the gardaí won’t enforce these measures, and motorists are willing to ignore them, then all that investment that’s planned will be for nothing,” he said.

At the most recent meeting of the Climate Action Committee, Mr Moran said he proposed to invite the gardaí before the committee for this and other reasons, which the committee members supported unanimously

In a statement in relation to the ban, Cork City Council said: “From time to time, Cork City Council undertakes promotional campaigns to remind drivers of the restrictions on St Patrick’s St.

“Enforcement of traffic movement is a matter for An Garda Síochána,” the statement added.

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