Cork’s new road system requires ‘patience’

Under traffic-flow arrangements introduced three months ago, northbound traffic, from the South Ring Road and Parnell Place has had to use Brian Boru Bridge or Michael Collins Bridge and onwards to St Patrick’s Quay and Camden Quay to access the N20, Mulgrave Road and Blackpool.
Cork’s new road system requires ‘patience’

North channel of the River Lee in Cork City centre. The four bridges included are Christy Ring Bridge, St Patrick's Bridge, Mary Elmes Bridge and Brian Boru Bridge. Pic: Larry Cummins

THE HEAD of roads policing in Cork has appealed to the public to be patient with traffic flow arrangements introduced in the city in early August.

Inspector James Hallahan, Divisional Roads Policing Inspector, said he believed people would come to see the benefits of a system which gave road users “more options”.

His comments came after Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, called on Cork City Council to revisit the right-turn ban from Lavitt’s Quay onto Christy Ring Bridge.

Under traffic-flow arrangements introduced three months ago, northbound traffic, from the South Ring Road and Parnell Place has had to use Brian Boru Bridge or Michael Collins Bridge and onwards to St Patrick’s Quay and Camden Quay to access the N20, Mulgrave Road and Blackpool.

Northbound vehicular traffic, with the exception of buses, is no longer permitted to turn right from Merchants Quay onto St Patrick’s Bridge or to turn right from Lavitt’s Quay onto Christy Ring Bridge.

The head of roads policing in Cork, Divisional Roads Policing Inspector James Hallahan, has said he believes the new traffic-flow system is working quite well.

Mr Gould this week told The Echo he believed the new rules were causing traffic “chaos” and he asked that Cork City Council rethink the ban on right-hand turns from Lavitt’s Quay onto Christy Ring Bridge.

Traffic buildup at Penrose Quay as traffic approaches the city centre from the east from Horgan's Quay on 4th November 2022. The N20 road to Blackpool/ Mallow can no longer be accessed via a right turn onto St Patrick's Bridge or Christy Ring Bridge for traffic travelling from Merchants Quay. Pic: Larry Cummins
Traffic buildup at Penrose Quay as traffic approaches the city centre from the east from Horgan's Quay on 4th November 2022. The N20 road to Blackpool/ Mallow can no longer be accessed via a right turn onto St Patrick's Bridge or Christy Ring Bridge for traffic travelling from Merchants Quay. Pic: Larry Cummins

“Some people are ignoring the sign, which is dangerous, and I’m really concerned about the likelihood of a serious accident at this spot now,” Mr Gould said.

However, asked by The Echo about the new system, Inspector Hallahan said he felt it was working quite well.

“It’s change, and I do see the benefits of what they’ve done, and I do think that if people give it time, they will see the benefits themselves,” Inspector Hallahan said.

“I know the right turn off Lavitt’s Quay onto Christy Ring Bridge is enshrined in us, but it’s just using a different quay, and I think it’s just a case of getting used to it, and I do think people will see the benefits of it in time.” 

Inspector Hallahan said he would ask that people be patient as drivers familiarise themselves with the new system.

“To be honest with you, I’ve used it as a garda, and I’ve used it in my own personal capacity, and I actually find it’s a lot easier to get around, rather than going up Merchants Quay and on to Lavitt’s Quay.

“If you go the other way, you have more options now going northside now with Summerhill North and going along the quays onto the North Ring Road, I think you have more options than you had previously,”

Inspector Hallahan said.

Cork City Council was contacted and asked for comment.

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