The National Transport Authority (NTA) has announced details of its proposals to create a sustainable public transport network across the Cork Metropolitan Area. The first round of public consultation regarding proposals to deliver 12 new Sustainable Transport Corridors (STCs) as part of the BusConnects Cork project, gets under way today. The plans include approximately 93 km of bus lane/ bus priority and 112 km of cycle facilities across the city.
The proposed STCs are fundamental to realising the ambition of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), developed in connection with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, to increase the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040 and expand the numbers cycling and walking by 33%. BusConnects Cork will also be essential to achieve Cork’s objective to become one of Europe’s first climate neutral cities by 2030, under the EU’s Cities Mission programme, which has selected Cork as one of 100 cities who will lead the way on climate action and smart cities across Europe.
The 12 proposed STCs are:
- Dunkettle to City
- Mayfield to City
- Blackpool to City
- Hollyhill to City
- Ballincollig to City
- Bishopstown to City
- Togher to City
- Airport Road to City
- Maryborough Hill to City
- Mahon to City
- Kinsale Road to Douglas
- Sunday’s Well to Hollyhill
These corridors will seek to transform the public transport network into a more efficient, sustainable model to help meet anticipated growth and future demand in the region. Investing in a sustainable future for Cork is vital for supporting the city’s growth over the coming two decades while accelerating the journey to a net-zero future.
STCs will benefit the Cork Metropolitan Area in the following ways:
- Improve the public transport network
- Make the bus system operate more efficiently by reducing bus journey times and increasing punctuality and reliability
- Encourage more people to walk and cycle by enhancing infrastructure
- Create a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians
- Create a more sustainable and liveable city
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said: “As one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, Cork has a unique opportunity to become a leader in sustainable transport. BusConnects Cork is key to making public transport and active travel a viable option for people and communities across the city.
“These new Sustainable Transport Corridors will make travel by bus, as well as walking and cycling, more attractive to many more individuals and families.
“By significantly reducing bus journey times and providing dedicated active travel infrastructure, sustainable transport will be at the very heart of a thriving Cork City into the future.
“In addition, thanks to the roll-out of battery-electric buses that we announced just a few weeks ago and the transition away from fossil fuels in our public transport fleet, the people of Cork will be enjoying the benefits of air that is cleaner and healthier.”
Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the NTA said: “A clean, modern and reliable public transport system can help unlock Cork’s potential as a connected and competitive European city. That’s why the NTA has unveiled this investment of half a billion Euro in Sustainable Transport Corridors under BusConnects Cork, which we believe can be truly transformative.
“The public consultation is now underway and we invite all members of the public to engage with this process, by sharing their views on these designs and proposals.
“In doing so, you will be helping to shape the future of the bus and cycle network across the Cork Metropolitan Area.
“In addition there will be a series of public information events throughout July and the establishment of Community Forums.”
“This consultation process will help the NTA in co-operation with Cork City Council in developing and finalising the Sustainable Transport Corridors.”
Ms. Ann Doherty, Chief Executive Officer of Cork City Council said: “Cork City Council welcomes the NTA’s proposal to introduce new sustainable transport corridors across the region.
“These corridors will greatly benefit the region in a number of ways by reducing bus journey times, creating a safer environment for cyclists and pedestrians and increase numbers walking and cycling.
“This will help to create a more sustainable and liveable city to attract greater investment in the region and secure Cork’s economic and future growth for decades to come.”
The 12 Sustainable Transport Corridor brochures, route maps and further information regarding these initiatives are available on our website to view and download (www.busconnects.ie/cork).
BusConnects Cork is a key component of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) published in 2020.
CMATS provides a framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the Cork Metropolitan Area over the next two decades.
Other CMATS proposals include:
- The opening of new rail stations and investment in infrastructure for commuter rail services
- Future provision for light rail between Ballincollig and Mahon.
- Strategic park and ride facilities providing ancillary services, including sheltered waiting areas, refreshments and real time information boards.