Concerns about new Little Island traffic plans

Concerns about new Little Island traffic plans
Traffic building up in the morning on the city side on the approach road to the Little Island flyover in Co. Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

PLANS to revamp traffic flows in Little Island went on display yesterday with concerns already raised that they do not include the addition of a new access point on the eastern side of the busy area.

At the second round public consultation of the Little Island Transportation Study held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Co. Cork, were (from left) Andrew Archer, Systra Consultants; Cormac Ó Súilleabháin, Cork County Council, and Peter O'Donoghue, traffic & transport, Cork County Council.Picture Denis Minihane.
At the second round public consultation of the Little Island Transportation Study held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Co. Cork, were (from left) Andrew Archer, Systra Consultants; Cormac Ó Súilleabháin, Cork County Council, and Peter O'Donoghue, traffic & transport, Cork County Council.Picture Denis Minihane.

It has long been called for by local residents and businesses, who say it is essential to alleviating the growing traffic pressure in the business hub.

It contains recommendations on transport interventions to improve access and ease congestion in the area. Currently, it is estimated that more than 15,000 people work in the Little Island area with a huge majority of these travelling by private car each day.

A wide range of public transport measures are proposed, including re-routing the Bus Éireann services travelling from east to west through Little Island, as well as introducing bus priority measures to enhance journey times in a clockwise direction within Little Island.

An additional train station near Dunkettle, in-line with Irish Rail’s Cork suburban rail feasibility study, is also on the agenda, as is a park-and-ride near Dunkettle.

The report dismisses the need for a third interchange, suggesting that an ‘alternative, cost-effective and less environmentally sensitive road capacity enhancement’ could be delivered in the short-term.

It also notes that the creation of another interchange ‘directly contradicts national policy seeking to safeguard the capacity and safety of the national road network’ and adds that the cost of the scheme would be ‘extremely high’ and would be unlikely to be supported by national agencies.

It adds that the creation of extra road capacity will lead to extra car journeys being taken rather than encouraging the use of public transport instead.

The strategy proposed would reduce journey times by 43% in the evening, reducing time spent queueing by 28% and reducing emissions by 10%, according to the report.

Thomas McHugh, director of public affairs at Cork Chamber, met with the transport consultants and Cork County Council representatives at the launch.

“Our members have expressed concerns that there is no additional eastern access point in today’s plans and we will investigate this further during the consultation,” he said. “However, of course, we remain focused on the improvements that can be achieved for both the business and residential community in Little Island.”

The closing date for submissions on the public consultation is November 16.

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