31 December 2019
By Mary Bermingham
New Washington Street-area taxi stand must be accompanied by proper enforcement, say Green Party in Cork
The Green Party in Cork has welcomed moves by Cork City Council to provide an additional taxi stand in the Washington Street area. However, the party has said extended hours and proper enforcement will be essential to bring an end to long-standing conflict over taxis parking in a cycle lane in the area.
New draft taxi bye-laws propose a new taxi stand at Hanover Place, off Washington Street. The taxi stand is proposed to operate from midnight to 5:00am. However, the Green Party says this should be extended to be from 8:00pm to 5:00am to relieve parking in a 24-hour cycle lane on Washington Street.
Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran said that ongoing issues, such as using cycling lanes as impromptu taxi ranks may still occur under the proposed bye-laws unless the hours are extended:
“The late-night taxi stand proposed at Hanover Place makes sense but the time window is too narrow. Cyclists still need to travel home after work and socialising, and having an obstruction in the lane on key routes like this one puts them in danger. The proposed change to the situation shows that officials are listening but it won’t matter if the laws aren’t enforced or if the window of operation of the new stand is too narrow.”
“Operating from midnight until five in the morning will only account for half of prime hours for restaurants, pubs and nightclubs in the area. It really needs to be extended to an earlier time to make sure that patrons on the streets can get to taxis safely without endangering cyclists. Having the operating time of the taxi stand extended to start at 8:00pm makes much more sense for everyone.”
Cllr Moran added that while Gardaí have used their discretion to allow this stand in the past, with a proposed night-time taxi stand around the corner at Hanover Place, this use of discretion should be left in the past.
The proposed bye-laws on taxi stands is one of four draft proposals currently open to public consultation in the City Council.
The other three relate to special speed limits around the city, and parking in both Ballincollig & Douglas, areas that were absorbed by the City Council in the recent boundary change. Members of the public can make submissions on the draft proposals in writing or by going to the City Council’s online consultation portal before close of business on Monday January 6th.