Future plans for Cork include three new bridges, increased pedestrianisation, more expensive parking and a tunnel under the River Lee
The Cork Land Use and Transportation Study makes far-reaching recommendations for the strategic growth and development of the entire Cork region.
The publication of the study is the culmination of two years of research by a team of consultants and it will form the basis of development in the greater Cork area.
The recommendations include three new bridges in the city centre, one near the custom house and the docks area, a double span for traffic coming in from Dublin and the south east, and another at Emmet Place near the Opera House, providing a new direct link to the north side of Cork.
Saint Patrick's Street will be closed to through traffic and areas of it, along with some side streets, will be pedestrianised. Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) will get new bus ways and traffic priority. This proposal favouring public transport may cause controversy, but the planners recognise the essential role of public transport and deny they will force cars out of the city centre.
Under the new proposals, motorists will see a doubling of parking fees and a reduction in available parking spaces, however more high rise car parks are planned.
Also proposed is a £20 million river crossing at Blackrock, most probably by tunnel which would channel traffic into the southern ring road eventually round Douglas and Togher, and connecting with Bishopstown, which will provide a complete bypass of the city centre.
The report proposes the development of satellite towns such as Middleton with the reopening of the passenger rail service. Industrial development is suggested in centres around the city such as Little Island, Blarney, Cobh and Carrigaline.
Over a 13 year period, the people of Cork will see dramatic changes in their city and will need new attitudes and a tolerance for some disruption.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 September 1978. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.