How accessible is Cork City Centre? Restaurant chairs vs Wheel chairs

3 July 2021
By Elaine Murphy

Al Fresco dining during COVID19 is great, and there is a European plaza vibe on many streets, however, not everyone is happy. The street is a limited space and one person’s gain is another person’s loss.

Sinn Fein TD for Cork North Central has welcomed news that the Cork Access Group, in conjunction with Cork City Council, are to carry out an accessibility audit on streets and parking in Cork city centre in the coming weeks.

Deputy Gould said:

“This is an issue I’ve been highlighting for almost a year now. The pedestrianisation of streets has been such a positive step forward for many businesses and has created a real buzz around town.

“What we’ve seen though is that some of this has resulted in reduced accessibility for those with disabilities. This is a massive step backwards and something that needs to be addressed immediately…

“…The City Council have now acknowledged there is significant work to be done in improving accessibility in the city. It has been a long road to get to this point, but it is wonderful to finally hear the council agree with the Disability activists on the ground.

“I would hope that whatever issues arise from the audit will be rectified immediately. I will continue to follow up with the Council to make sure that they follow through on the commitments they’ve now given.

“This summer, the buzz around town needs to include everyone – people of all abilities enjoying outdoor dining and Cork’s beautiful centre. Hopefully this accessibility audit will be the first step in ensuring that happens.”

File photo: Last month An Taoiseach Michéal Martin visited Princes Street in Cork city centre where he took a look at the new multi-coloured canopy of parasols that have been installed to support outdoor dining in all weathers, but has on street dining – on all streets – affected accessibility? Picture: Michael O’Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

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