A new bus service between Ringaskiddy and Cork Airport is to be introduced this year.
The new service will also connect to Carrigaline and Ballygarvan. The Minister for Transport Shane Ross confirmed details of the new bus service and said it would be brought into action in the middle of 2019.
He outlined the progress plans for Cork following a query from Aindrias Moynihan TD into the bus services for Ballincollig to Ballingeary.
Deputy Moynihan asked the Minister to make every effort to extend the 233 service, which travels from Macroom to the city centre, via Ovens and Ballincollig.
In response, Mr Ross said the deputy was “pushing his luck a little.”
“I am in charge of policy but I do not intervene and tell bus companies to move a certain bus or improve frequencies on certain routes,” he said. “The Deputy would not expect me to do that.”
The Minister did say that services on the Macroom-Cork corridor, including route 233, are part of the improvement plans from the National Transport Authority (NTA).
The NTA has advised that these improvements are also expected to be implemented in the middle of 2019.
“The NTA has invested in a significant improvement to subsidised bus services in Cork city,” Minister Ross said. “This has included the provision of cross-city services, increased frequency on existing services and new services linking residential areas to places of employment and education.
“Further investment has been made in the city bus fleet, which is 100% fully accessible, and an increase in capacity through the purchase and deployment of double-decker buses.”
Regarding the area raised by Deputy Moynihan, Minister Ross said: “The NTA has advised that it is planning to implement improvements to bus services in three separate phases during 2019. This is part of a general review of bus services in the greater Cork area.
“This review includes the Macroom-Cork corridor, including services from Kilmurry, Crookstown, Cloughduv, Aherla and Ovens currently provided on route 233.”
The Minister for Transport also said that the national development plan provides an indicative allocation of €200 million to support the development of BusConnects in Cork in line with the finalised recommendations of the new transport policy.