THE bus route that links Ballincollig and Carrigaline to the city is to double in frequency from every 30 minutes to every 15 from next month.
Bus Éireann confirmed to the Evening Echo that the 220 route will change from every 30 minutes to every 15 minutes during core hours starting from December.
The core hours are 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and there will also be more frequency on weekend services. At present, services on the route are often at capacity, with regular complaints about the need for more buses.
The issue was raised in the Dáil recently by Cork North West TD Aindrias Moynihan. In response, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was personally aware of the difficulties with the service.
“As it happens, my sister’s childminder, who is attending UCC, uses it regularly. I am advised that it is slow and, as a consequence of traffic, often gets stuck.”
The Taoiseach added: "It will be significantly improved and made more frequent in the next several weeks.”
Ballincollig and Carrigaline have experienced phenomenal growth over the last two decades to become the largest satellite towns in Cork, with a population of 18,621 in Ballincollig and 15,770 in Carrigaline at the last census.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the bus improvements are among a number of changes being implemented by Bus Éireann and the National Transport Authority (NTA).
It is also understood the route will be extended to Carrigaline Primary Health Care Centre and there will be a revised routing in Carrigaline to allow for a two-way operation at all locations.
Cork North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan has called for the improved 220 bus service that links Ballincollig to the City Centre and onto Carrigaline to be announced as soon as possible.
Mr Moynihan said: “This route is one of the busiest in the Cork region, and it is, at times, very crowded.
“A service with a greater level of frequency will improve the travelling experience for those commuting into the City Centre from Ballincollig for school, college, work, shopping or to attend the hospital.”