Sir – Through your columns I learnt of the ridiculous proposal that North Street should be made a one-way street and an equally-ridiculous proposal to have traffic lights on North Street which would cause even greater but regular stoppages of traffic. It was also suggested that the current traffic plan was a problem for emergency services to get through on emergency calls.
Having served with the Fire Service for many years, I can honestly say that I have no recollection of ever having been held up in North Street and I am equally sure that the Ambulance Service have not either. The services have however been held up on Main Street because of traffic coming continuously from North Street preventing traffic from Main Street moving on and giving drivers nowhere to go to allow the Emergency vehicle to pass.
If the traffic on North Street did allow the drivers on Main Street to move on and the emergency vehicle was turning on to North Street, they would then be confronted by a street full of stopped vehicles in both directions combined with parked vehicles.
Making North Street a one-way system would also make the additional incoming and outgoing bus stop at the church car park and at the bus stop at Cahalanes Bar useless and the rerouting of the Cork bus to the bypass the only option.
The bus stop at the car park was specifically sited there to allow for elderly and disabled people to be driven to or park their cars there while waiting to board outgoing buses. If North Street was one way only, outgoing buses would have to travel via the bypass and would not be able to go down North Street or turn at or near the bus stop to proceed on their journey.
In my opinion it would be a far better solution to remove parking on North Street to beyond the old Credit Union premises (red brick building) and to create short-term loading bays for those commercial premises that require them. This would allow free-flowing traffic on the street and eliminate the present situation where drivers travelling up North Street lose patience and try to pass the parked vehicles and then struggle to find room to get past the traffic coming down and the parked vehicles.
There would also be sufficient room to allow trucks and other large vehicles to proceed up and down the street and without creating a back-up of vehicles behind them as it is now. Putting traffic lights on either or both streets would only serve to cause frequent and regular back-ups of traffic on Main Street, Townshend Street and North Street. Parking from the old Credit Union Building to the library could be reserved for the residents and business people of North Street.
The implementation of the above would allow the free flow of traffic in both directions on North Street, the result of which would help to free up the flow of traffic on the well-designed Main Street and consequently the traffic flow in Bridge Street and Townshend Street, thus freeing up these frequently jammed-up streets.
I would suggest that the above method would be implemented on a temporary basis to test its merits before implementing any of the other two methods which will certainly create chaos for everybody.