Renewed calls for rethink of right-turn restrictions in city centre

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould has repeated his call for the city council to rethink the Christy Ring Bridge right-turn ban, saying he is fearful that a serious accident may occur on the bridge as some northbound traffic ignores the new rule.
Renewed calls for rethink of right-turn restrictions in city centre

Christy Ring Bridge, in Cork City. Pic: Larry Cummins.

CITING serious safety concerns, a Cork TD has renewed calls for Cork City Council to rethink a right-turn ban onto Christy Ring Bridge introduced five months ago.

However, the local authority has said the right-turn restrictions there and on St Patricks Bridge have “has enabled the provision of the necessary second eastbound traffic lane on Lavitt’s Quay and enhanced the capacity of the junction".

Under a new traffic flow system, northbound vehicles, with the exception of buses, but not taxis, are 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.

Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould has repeated his call for the city council to rethink the Christy Ring Bridge right-turn ban, saying he is fearful that a serious accident may occur on the bridge as some northbound traffic ignores the new rule.

“There are people turning right over Patrick’s Bridge and Christy Ring Bridge and it’s nearly certain to lead to an accident, the confusion is that if you’re not aware of the system, you’re watching a bus go right over the bridges, and cars are following them,” Mr Gould said.

In a report to councillors ahead of a council meeting yesterday evening, the council’s director of infrastructure development, Gerry O’Beirne, said new traffic arrangements had been introduced on MacCurtain Street, the city quays and adjoining streets under the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme, a key element of which he said is “the better allocation of road space for bus based public transport as well as the prioritisation of buses at several junctions across the area”.

The northbound traffic arrangements, Mr O’Berine said, are “integral” to the overall strategy.

“The related removal of the contra flow bus lane on Camden Quay has doubled the capacity for northbound traffic accessing either the N20 or Mulgrave Road and the other improvements on Penrose/Patricks Quay have significantly improved the flow rates and available capacity on the North Quays,” he said.

“The related restriction on right turn movements on St Patricks and Christy Ring Bridges has enabled the provision of the necessary second eastbound traffic lane on Lavitt’s Quay and enhanced the capacity of the junction.

“These elements are critical for the accommodation of traffic entering the city from the northside (N20, Mulgrave Road and Shandon Street), which will increase as the scheme progresses and also to accommodate continued flows the south-west of the city via Bachelor’s Quay,” he continued.

The report followed a motion submitted by Sinn Féin councillors Mick Nugent and Kenneth Collins who asked the council to report on the various traffic changes in the city centre, particularly the no right turns at Patrick's and Christy Ring bridges, and how these changes are part of the overall City Centre Movement Strategy.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Nugent said that while traffic flow in the city seems to have improved somewhat in recent weeks, some issues with the right turn bans persist.

“It is welcome that it will be reviewed on an ongoing basis,” Mr Nugent said.

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