This week’s Roads and Transportation Functional Committee meeting of Cork City Council coincided with very frank exchanges between councillors and Pairc Uí Chaoimh stadium manager Bob Ryan and Garda Sergeant James Daly. Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy who were present presented the concerns of local residents;
“I have had numerous emails from constituents in Ballinlough who have asked for better traffic management. Many have asked me to convey that the recent Ed Sheeran concert traffic management plan needs to be the baseline of all traffic management at least. The current match traffic management plan is not sustainable in the long-run. The local roads cannot cope with the traffic. It is also very difficult to predict traffic movements from match to match. Random parking on greens and grass verges should not be allowed. Ticketing of cars needs to be consistently pursued and towaway needs to be in operation where residents are blocked into their house. I have had calls as well for consideration for a 3-4 km match parking exclusion zone around Pairc Uí Chaoimh. Certainly, the Garda contingent present needs to provide a few more members to push cars on, who are thinking of parking on pinch points before any match begins”.
In response to Cllr McCarthy’s intervention and committee members Stadium Manager Bob Ryan went through initiatives being rolled out to curb the recent traffic chaos from happening in the future. The stadium is working with local GAA grounds to provide parking spaces. Initiatives are ongoing to get more people on shuttle buses and get people walking from the city centre. The clubs of participating counties in stadium matches receive a press release outlining traffic measures in place before the game. There is a dedicated website, where information is posted seven days previously
Bob Ryan outlined that the Ed Sheeran traffic dynamics is difficult to re-emulate but the stadium management remains committed to changing the habits of drivers causing traffic problems. Mr Ryan noted that he is open to costing further shuttle buses to and from the stadium from other parts of the city. He also highlighted that the thousands of GAA supporters who have parked up in the city centre have been of huge benefit to local business. He also called for more ticketing of cars parked up illegally. In concluding with councillors, he noted that he remains open to ideas to try to resolve traffic issues. The Roads and Transportation Functional committee called for the stadium management to be present at future meetings to discuss ongoing traffic issues.