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The re-introduction of the St Patrick's St bus priority corridor is to be accompanied by measures to improve and encourage access to the city centre

Significant improvements to bus services in Cork city will result from the re-introduction of an afternoon bus priority corridor on St. Patrick’s St. from August 9 next. 

From that date, access to St. Patrick’s St. will be limited to buses, taxis, emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists -  from 3.00pm to 6.30 pm each day .

The three and a half hour bus priority corridor is a key element in the City Centre Movement Strategy (CCMS) which seeks to address the serious traffic management issues associated with welcome economic growth ( 10,000 new jobs in the city centre within five years)  and the substantial increase in population and vehicles forecast for the years ahead. 

 Traffic congestion in Cork is now worse than it was at the height of the economic boom in 2007. Two thirds of the 110,000 vehicles entering the city centre every day are using it as a “through route” to other destinations. This through traffic brings no benefit to businesses in the city and makes it more difficult for those who work, visit and shop in the city centre to get around.

The changes due to take place on St. Patrick’s St. are a small but important step towards the establishment of a rapid transit system linking Ballincollig and Mahon, via the city centre, including the Docklands. 

In recent months, Cork city centre’s CORE Group, representing Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, Cork Hospitality Alliance, Bus Eireann, Gardaí, retail sector, executive and elected members of Cork City Council has been working extremely hard to develop a suite of communications, marketing and operational initiatives aimed at ensuring a smooth and effective reintroduction of the bus priority corridor on St. Patrick’s St.

 A considerable body of work has already been completed by Cork City Council on the city quays to facilitate the changes which are limited to St. Patrick’s Street only. Even in the short period in which the changes operated in March/April last, bus journey times showed decreases of up 28% and car journey times in the city centre also showed significant improvements.

The re-introduction of the bus priority corridor is being accompanied by a series of measures to improve and encourage access to the city centre. These include: 

  • A network of 26 set down parking spaces is being established on South Mall, Grand Parade, Parnell Place, Drawbridge & Cornmarket St to facilitate shoppers and visitors.
  • From August 9th, half price parking will be offered at Paul Street and North Main Street Car Parks from 1pm to 6.30pm.
  • The opening hours of the city’s Park And Ride service will be extended to between 7am and 8pm
  • The Park And Ride will be free of charge from 12 noonReduced bus fares will be available  from August 9th
  • Passengers on the northbound 203 and 215 buses will also be stopping on St. Patrick’s St. for the first time.
  • The extension of the Park And Ride service into the city centre. There will be additional stops at Merchants Quay, St Patrick’s St, Grand Parade and South Mall to improve connectivity between the Park and Ride and city centre.

 The new traffic arrangements will allow the city’s buses to transport people in the city centre much more quickly and efficiently. Last year, 12.6 million people used city bus services and St. Patrick’s St. is the main public transport “hub” with almost 1,000 buses using the street each day.

The development of public transport in Cork city is supported by the €200 million Cork Bus Connects programme that is identified in the National Development Plan.

As part of CCMS, an afternoon priority bus corridor was introduced in St. Patrick’s St. at the end of last March. Because of concerns raised by city centre businesses at that time, Cork City Council agreed to pause the introduction of this corridor until August 9th to allow for (1) significant engagement to increase awareness of the CCMS and its role in addressing traffic congestion (2) the development of a comprehensive promotional campaign for the city centre, in conjunction with business stakeholders.

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