A GREEN PARTY councillor has said that Budget 2021 has the ability to improve the city’s sustainability and help fast-track projects such as Cork Light Rail.
€1.8 billion in funding will be allocated for sustainable transport, cycling, walking and greenways as part of the 2021 Budget in addition to €1.3 billion for national, regional and local roads.
Speaking on the budget announcements, Councillor Dan Boyle said that such investments will be of benefit to Cork city.
“Cork is a walkable city. But, like with any major urban centre, because of lack of investment in the past, insufficient public transport, and failure to invest in infrastructure that allowed road space to be more democratically used for pedestrians and cyclists, we haven’t had the opportunity of giving people those chances,” he said.
Mr Boyle added that, while similar projects elsewhere may take priority, he would like to see the speeding up of the process of introducing Cork Light Rail.
“I would like to see the fast-forwarding of elements of the Cork transportation study and in particular, we might have Light Rail ahead of schedule.
“I think that’s where I see any potential investment for the future,” he said.
“It opens up a whole lot of avenues of people living more in the city centre and close to the city centres.
“So, if we want to have the kind of norms that exist in most developed cities across the world and particularly in continental Europe, these are the changes we need to make.
“Cities with much smaller populations than Cork have Light Rail systems and we should aspire to do the same.
“The timeline for the Cork rail is very long term and we want to make it medium-term and short-term.
“But it is important when we’re talking about sustainable transport that when there’s money being made available that we look for as much of it as can be made available for Cork.”