New cycleway layout causes chaos for well-known Cork business 

Owners of Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, the O’Neill family, claim that Cork County Council ignored “repeated requests” to review the layout for the works which are part of the strategic cycleway scheme from Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill. 
New cycleway layout causes chaos for well-known Cork business 

Owners of Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, the O’Neill family, say the development of a new cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces outside the business, with the remaining car park area described as “not practical or workable”. Pictured is Kerri O'Neill, manager of Fitzpatrick's Foodstore. Picture: Denis Minihane

A WELL-KNOWN family establishment in Glounthaune has said the development of a new cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces outside the business, with the remaining car park area described as “not practical or workable”.

Owners of Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, the O’Neill family, claim that Cork County Council ignored “repeated requests” to review the layout for the works which are part of the strategic cycleway scheme from Bury’s Bridge to Carrigtwohill. 

The scheme includes the provision of approximately 7.7km of new pedestrian and cycle path.

Speaking to The Echo, manager of the store, Kerri O’Neill, stressed that the family are “fully in support” of the scheme but that it cannot be to the detriment of the business.

Ms O’Neill said the family were aware there would be some loss in spaces as part of the scheme in order to formalise the car park and were in full support of making the car park safer.

She said initial plans for the scheme proposed a reduction of car parking spaces, from 22 to 12 but a layout provided at a later stage sought to reduce the number of spaces to nine.

Ms O’Neill said that while the council eventually agreed to the 12 spaces, other requests the family had asked for have been denied causing issues for the business. 

“The issues mostly relate to their [Cork County Council’s] introduction of a cycleway path close to our premises.”

“I asked for the cycleway to be reduced from 4m to 3m between the entry and the exit. So when you enter the car park outside there’s a small segment between that and the exit of the car park and I asked for that to be 3m.

Owners of Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, the O’Neill family, say the development of a new cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces outside the business, with the remaining car park area described as “not practical or workable”. Pictured is Kerri O'Neill, manager of Fitzpatrick's Foodstore. Picture: Denis Minihane
Owners of Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore, the O’Neill family, say the development of a new cycleway outside their premises has resulted in a “soul-destroying” loss of almost half the available car parking spaces outside the business, with the remaining car park area described as “not practical or workable”. Pictured is Kerri O'Neill, manager of Fitzpatrick's Foodstore. Picture: Denis Minihane

“There’s a creche just a couple of hundred yards up from us and the cycleway is 3m outside them but they wouldn’t do it here,” she said.

Ms O’Neill said this refusal has resulted in “a compressed car park where there is very little reversing room” and said there have been several incidents in the car park in recent weeks.

She said Fitzpatrick’s does not own the lands the car park is on but that the business has been trading for 80 years and noted that it is the main shop of an area “that has huge development housing-wise in the pipeline”.

“There’s a lot of older people in the community too.

“I had a woman approach me last week to say she’s too afraid to drive her car in now because she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get a space and she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get out,” she continued.

Fitzpatrick's has also made requests for extra car parking in the area to no avail.

“We also asked for a small green space to the left across the road to be designated for a couple of extra spaces to make up for the loss of car park spaces directly outside the shop and for the four spaces across from the apartment block to be designated for customer parking from 9am-6pm, the busy period,” Ms O’Neill explained.

She said the loss of car parking has taken a financial toll on the business and that this is particularly challenging in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and a recent €3m redevelopment of the store, which the business borrowed money to undertake and is working to repay.

Ms O'Neill said the works between the shop and the church are ongoing and are understood to be completed within a few weeks. 

Cork County Council was contacted for comment.

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