Cobh Traffic Chaos Set To Continue At Low Road

By Seamus Whelehan

Cobh Cruise Terminal the subject of major traffic congestion at times

Further traffic chaos looms for low road residents as Cobh Municipality have deferred a decision on draft Taxi Bye-Laws.
The towns representative are trying to get to grips with resolving issues caused by the installation of a new taxi queuing system for the Port Of Cork’s Cruise Terminal.
Last December plans were drawn up in consultation with the port of cork, the taxi regulator and local operators amid concerns for health and safety at the five foot way.
Municipality Executive Officer Paraig Lynch said “given the increase and the number of liners and the size of the liners. You have bus traffic you have taxi traffic and pedestrians in a restricted area.”
There are 60 cruise liners due to call to Cobh this year with over 80 planned for the 2018 season.
A 20 bay holding ranks was installed on the Western end of the Low Road, with a further three bays located close to the railway station entrance.
Taxis at the holding area are called up to the rank once a space comes available.
While councillors were not consulted on the scheme they are left with the task of introducing bye-laws to regulate the new infrastructure.
Following publication of the draft regulations many concerns have been raised by the public.
Those opposed to the plans state the proposed waiting area for the taxis is unsuitable due to the residential nature, with many claiming they find it difficult accessing their properties.
They say consideration should be given to relocating the waiting area either in the five-foot car park or further along the Low Road between thee Garda station and railway station.
Mr Lynch said both options were considered “it was felt the space between the Garda station and railway station are used more regularly. Placing the taxi waiting area in the five-foot way would result in taxis driving into the five-foot way turning at a location in the carpark and then joining a queue to drive back out.”
Labour Cllr Cathal Rasmussen said the current situation was “ludicrous.”
“We are producing bye-laws we have no say over and no control over because a faceless person who is not going to be in Cobh is going to be in charge of it.”
Fine Gael Cllr Sinead Sheppard said “There is enough room down the road from the train station right up to the station masters house, giving ample room for cars to park at the heritage centre.”
Whereas Cllr Kieran McCarthy said he found it “amusing” that the taxi regulator had not sufficiently consulted with taxi operators. He said 2 taxi representatives were consulted yet the chairman of the local taxi operators was not aware of the meeting until the infrastructure was installed.
The local authority are to consult further with the taxi regulator with a view to relocating the waiting area closer to the railway station and limiting parking times.