CORK is two years into a 10-year Bus Connects plan without a kilometre of additional bus lane or a planning application for a single park and ride.
This was the message from Cork Chamber President Paula Cogan, who was speaking at Cork Chamber’s Dublin dinner tonight.
She warned that Irish cities are at risk of becoming uncompetitive if the Government does not deliver on the Climate Action Plan and public transport investment.
In 2018 the Government announced plans to spend €200 million to upgrade the city’s public transport network to be completed by 2027.
However, Ms Cogan said Cork has little to show and the city is “crying out for public investment.”
Held in the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road in association with EY, tonight’s event was attended by more than 600 people from across Ireland’s business, political and diplomatic landscapes.
The keynote speaker was Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton.
In her speech to guests on public transport, Ms Cogan said commuter railway in Cork is only hindered in growth by the lack of frequency of the service.
“Look to Little Island where 66% of employees do not need their car during the day.
“Then look at the Ballincollig to Carrigaline bus where a 15 minutes frequency has led to a 70% increase in journeys.
"Cork people are crying out for sustainable transport investment now. Can you even imagine credibility or functionality of Dublin today without the Luas or the DART?”
Addressing the Chamber, Minister Bruton said Cork will grow at twice the rate of Dublin under the Ireland 2040 plan.
"It is crucial that in accommodating 50% more people, it is done in a way that is sustainable and conscious of our move towards net-zero emissions as set out in the Climate Action Plan."
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of Vodafone Anne O’Leary was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Business Award at tonight’s event.
Ms O’Leary joins previous recipients including Frank Boland; Dan and Linda Kiely of Voxpro; Sean O’Driscoll of Glen Dimplex Group; Darina Allen of Ballymaloe and Brian McCarthy of Fexco.
Ms Cogan described Ms O’Leary as a true powerhouse of business.
“Anne’s contribution to life in Irish business and her engagement across the Chamber network has been remarkable.
"She is a formidable advocate for her native Cork, for Irish sport, and I am delighted to bestow this award upon her.”
Accepting the award Ms O’Leary said that for the past 200 years the Chamber has been a force for positive change in Cork.
“I look forward to continuing to work towards our ambition of ensuring Cork is a thriving, prosperous city and at the heart of business in Ireland.”