THE Green Party has called for more investment in public transport after a study found Cork had worse congestion than Hong Kong, Berlin and Toronto.
The survey, compiled by SatNav company TomTom, revealed that congestion is at its worst in Cork during peak commuter times, from 8am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm.
It found that Cork people travelling during rush hour are losing an additional 170 hours a year – an equivalent of just over one week – sitting in traffic.
Green Party candidate for Cork South Central, Lorna Bogue, said:
“Traffic congestion is a multifaceted issue that needs to be comprehensively tackled.
"Cars idling in traffic is an issue for the climate, as well as causing health problems from prolonged exposure to the air pollution caused by cars. It also simply, means we aren’t getting to where we need to go on time.
“Hong Kong and Sydney both have higher populations than our entire country.
“They, in fact, have the equivalent of 60 Corks in Hong Kong alone - how are we more congested?
"They take public transportation seriously. They have a metro, trams, a variety of buses, and proper cycling infrastructure.
"CMATS (Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy) says we won’t even start construction on the light rail system until after 2031. This is something we’ve been talking about since the early 2000s. That timeline needs to be seriously expedited.
"The state needs to step up and start putting more funding into public transport.
"We saw with the success of the 220 route (24-hour bus service) that people will take the bus if you provide a quality service – if you build it they will come. But how many people live nowhere near a bus route, or an affordable bus route? How many times can people be left waiting at a bus stop as packed bus after packed bus passes them by?
“We need a fit for purpose public transportation service for the people of Cork, and we need it now, not in 2050.”