NTA promise to overhaul Cork city transport system
The National Transport Authority say ambitious plans for the growth of Cork city need to be backed up by ambitious plans for how people will move around it.
The NTA announced €600 million in funding for the BusConnects project yesterday which they say will overhaul the current transport system via new transport corridors, a completely redesigned bus network and new park and ride sites in a number of locations.
The plan also promises a cashless payment system, new bus stops and a transition to a zero emission bus fleet.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan says the City and County Councils should consider ‘experimental measures’ to speed up the project, which involves 75 kilometres of new bus lanes and 54 kilometres of cycling and walking infrastructure.
BusConnects is part of the multi billion euro CMATS plan which will eventually include a light rail system in the city.
Speaking to RedFM News, CEO of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham says a more detailed proposal will be published for public consultation in June.
“There’s no doubt that there will be challenges when we try to introduce bus priority across the city, as well as introducing safe cycling facilities.
“That’s why we’re starting this conversation now to see what’s feasible in terms of ensuring that we can get priority for the bus, and cut existing journey times in half.”
Meanwhile a Cork TD has raised concerns that proposals for part of the project will lead to traffic chaos on the northside of the city.
Thomas Gould has written to the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to seek clarity about the Hollyhill to City bus corridor which uses part of Cathedral Road and Old Youghal Road.
Speaking to RedFM News, Deputy Gould says he expects there will be a high volume of submissions when the public consultation opens in June.
“There are solutions there. They’re going to have to talk to people who live in the areas to help come up with solutions to put in these bus corridors and cycle lanes.
“You can’t be closing down main roads unless you have alternatives. The big problem is not having an northern ring road to help take traffic off.
“If there was a northern ring road there might be other solutions.”