Cork should take control of its own decisionmaking and funding with regards transport with a dedicated body called the Cork Transport Authority.
This is the view of Fine Gael Councillor Deirdre Forde who said Cork is not getting the attention it deserves from the National Transport Authority (NTA) which looks after all public transport in Ireland.
She made the proposal in County Hall this week at a meeting of the Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District meeting.
“I listened very carefully to all the motions today and a lot of them concern transport and a lack of coherence in relation to same and the delays in getting action and I was just wondering is it time to have the Cork Transport Authority, a designated Cork transport authority for the whole region.”
The Douglas Councillor said that as the largest county in the country, Cork should take control of its own transport infrastructure.
In agreement with the idea, Fianna Fáil Councillor Mary Rose Desmond said that Cork needs to look out for itself in terms of developing as a modern city.
“I think the expertise that we have within our local authority could contribute in a more meaningful manner than we are able to do in the current system."
Councillor Marcia D’Alton said she did not see the Cork Transport Authority becoming a reality, but agreed that Cork needs to break away from the Dublin-focused NTA.
“I understand that a significant proportion of the population is living in Dublin, but we have massive gains to be got here, from focusing on improving our public transport in every respect and we are just not at the races.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said he was disappointed that the NTA did not take up the council’s invitation to appear at their next monthly meeting and said he fully supports a regional or Cork based transport authority.
Sinn Féin Councillor Eoghan Jeffers said, in his opinion, regional administration is the most efficient.
“I think it is not only a good idea, it is also imperative because we are going to continue to grow here in Cork and we need to have the ongoing day to day contact with the local authority which has extensive knowledge of the area.”
The Council is now to write to the Department of Transport regarding their proposal to take control of all public transport decisions and funding within the region.