A VILLAGE located less than 20 kilometres from the city centre is served by just one bus journey a week.
Grenagh in north Cork is served by a single return bus journey a week, each Friday, despite being home to hundreds of people who work in the city.
The lack of connectivity to the village has been highlighted amid growing concerns that some commuters towns and villages are in danger of being forgotten within the context of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
The transport strategy includes an improved €545m Bus Connects plan for the city and a €274m suburban rail network, stretching from Blarney to Midleton and Cobh.
However, Councillor Gearoid Murphy (FF) said there are still countless commuter towns and villages that have connectivity issues and he highlighted the case of Grenagh.
“Mallow town and the areas south of Mallow are well within the zones of economic influence of Cork city and thousands commute to the city on a daily basis from this area,” said Mr Murphy.
“Grenagh is technically not in the metropolitan area of Cork city but it’s important these areas are not left behind and it is recognised that the ring towns of the city are important. Grenagh village is a place with almost 1,000 people to the north of Blarney and there are a large number of new estates in it.
“They were built during the heady days of the Celtic Tiger and it was promised that there was going to be a train station there. That’s not in the CMATS plan. The village is served by one bus in and out a week every Friday which I think is a pathetic level of service. It’s something that could be solved in the very short term.
“Most people that live in Grenagh work in Cork city, so the amount of cars that could be taken off the road in one fell swoop just by increasing the frequency of the bus is phenomenal,” he added.
National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham admitted some Cork towns are not adequately serviced by public transport.
“Not only are we looking at a transport strategy for the metropolitan area of Cork but as an authority, we are looking at how other towns are served by public transport and what would be a minimum level of service that is needed for all town centres to enable people to be able to live without a car. We are doing that on a national basis,” Ms Graham said.
“One bus a day a week does not encourage people to live without a car. As an authority, we know that are places where we need to radically improve public transport,” Ms Graham added.