Cork Metropolitan Transport Strategy needs funding and timeline – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Speaking this afternoon after the launch of the Cork Metropolitan Transport Strategy Cork South-Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire commented that the Minister for Transport must provide the public with both the funds and a projected timeline as to when the plan will be implemented.
Teachtá Ó Laoghaire said;
"I was the first TD in recent years to call upon the Minister for Transport to seriously examine the possibility of light Rail in Cork, and have been persistently pushing for the publication of the Metropolitan Transport Strategy.
“So naturally it is welcomed that this document has been published today, even if a year late. It includes plans for a light rail line from Ballincollig to Mahon. I am glad that this is finally being taken seriously, but it looks like it will be 2031 before that is delivered, which is far too far off given how rapidly Cork is growing.
“I think the plan could have been more ambitious regarding a light rail system, and I do not think that a single line will meet the potential demand that will be there, whether northside-southside, or even north south within the Southside from Carrigaline, through Douglas.
“However, we also need an immediate intervention in terms of Buses improvement, serious safe cycling infrastructure, and investment to follow that. A plan is all well and good, but will the Government spend the money required, given the outrageous money they are overspending on other big projects?
“The plan itself needs both funding and a timeline as to when it is envisaged that it will come to fruition, and I ask that the Minister give us clarity on both fronts as soon as possible.
“I hope that there is imagination regarding Bus Transport also - we need I think Bus Rapid Transit, something like the Glider in Belfast, in order to encourage a shift in how people use Public transport, to excite people, that this isn't just an incremental improvement.
“We need to learn lessons from how Dublin got this wrong. Better consultation, better communications and it can't be just prosperous and commercial areas that benefit from investment in public transport.
"Everyone deserves decent public transport, and I would be concerned that these areas may not be prioritised. Public transport in Cork has been best supported by working class people, so if it is to improve it needs to be tailored to meet their needs, not just those of business.
"Finally, given the difficulties that were apparent in Dublin regarding Local issues, I think 6 weeks is far too short for public consultation the Government needs to expand that significantly."