A one-way system is on the cards for many bridges through Cork city. Source: Oliver Moran

City preparing for next phase

Further pedestrianisation and additional cycle lanes are on the cards for Cork city as it prepares for Phase 2 of the roadmap to ease restrictions.

If agreed, it will see the creation of cycle and walk facilities, click and collect setdown areas and increased priority at pedestrian crossings.

Phase One of the reopening of Cork began on Monday, in tandem with the Marina, which was pedestrianised from last Friday until the end of August. Pedestrianisation at Oliver Plunkett Street was also reinstated and a deep clean of the city centre and Glanmire, Blarney, Douglas and Ballincollig is underway.

Cork City Council Assistant Chief Executive, Brian Geaney said: “We started with the city centre but are looking out to the wider new city. Our approach protects health and wellbeing but all proposed interventions will need to be fully considered by all stakeholder interest groups in the city. In the medium term, we have a unique opportunity to rethink the future of the city in a way that boosts quality of life, sustainability and opportunity.”

Mr Geaney said that the council worked with the Government’s reopening roadmap, the €3.5 billion Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) and its own City Centre Movement Strategy in coming up with measures proposed for Phase 2.

“We wanted to take a creative but evidence-based approach to reawakening and reimagining our city,” explained Mr Geaney.

He added: “First and foremost, we want residents, workers and visitors to the city to feel that they can safely practice social distancing in our city and that it is an attractive place to visit during these unusual times. While we are informed by other Irish and international cities, Cork is unique in the way that its homes, workplaces, retail and hospitality are configured and so we need a unique response.”

He said that a street-by-street approach will be adopted in relation to particular on-street proposals and that Cork City Council will seek unanimity of purpose as specific mobility measures are proposed for various streets.

Director of Strategic Economic Development, Fearghal Reidy said: “Our vision is creating a city of compact urban growth, a city that will be more resilient in the face of shocks like pandemics and extreme weather events. Therefore, it’s vital that we see people engage in the upcoming consultation around our new City Development Plan in the months ahead.”

The following measures are proposed by Cork City Council for phase two to mirror the timing of the Government’s roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

• Emmet Place, Father Matthew Street, Fitton Street East, Liberty Street and Cross Street, Castle Street and Daunt Square are being considered for pedestrianisation.

• Consideration is being given to creating one-way pedestrian movement on Tobin Street, French Church Street and Carey’s Lane.

• The option of implementing and encouraging pedestrians to move on the right side of the following pedestrian bridges is being considered for the Mary Elmes Bridge, Shandon Bridge, St Vincent’s Bridge, Trinity Bridge and the Nano Nagle Bridge.

• Individual requests to assign roadspace on streets and place structures on the street will be considered.

• New bike stands are to be located at 43 new locations around the city to encourage people to consider cycling. Key cycling routes into the city are being reviewed to identify possible improvement measures.

• Opportunities to convert sites to park and walk facilities are being investigated.

• Provision of set down or click and collect areas to facilitate businesses are being considered.

• The timings at pedestrian crossings on the city centre island have been altered to give increased priority to pedestrian movements.