THE design team for the proposed Luas Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Cork is currently “progressing the appraisal of route options with a view to identifying an emerging preferred route for the scheme”, it has been revealed.
Cork city councillors have been briefed on the latest updates for the proposed Luas scheme which is aimed at providing a high-capacity, high-frequency public transport link from the eastern to the western suburbs of Cork.
In a report issued to councillors ahead of Monday night’s full council meeting, director of services in the council’s infrastructure development directorate, Gerry O’Beirne, noted that the establishment of an east to west rapid transit corridor from Mahon to Ballincollig has been a “long-standing objective for the city” and that it is a key element in the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS).
“The proposed indicative route establishes connectivity to many of the key locations and attractors in the city including Docklands, Kent Station, St Patrick Street, UCC, CUH, CIT, etc,” he said.
He added that CMATS also envisages the LRT being preceded by a high-frequency bus service between Mahon and Ballincollig and that this is to be delivered in the short term to “underpin development along the corridor”.
The council has received correspondence from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) who, in collaboration with the National Transport Authority (NTA), have appointed a design team comprising Jacobs Engineering, SYSTRA and Idiom to progress the feasibility and route selection phases of the project.
As outlined in a briefing note from TII, Mr O’Beirne said a Strategic Assessment Report has been prepared for submission to the Department of Transport in accordance with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and “the design team is currently progressing the appraisal of route options with a view to identifying an emerging preferred route for the scheme”.
Mr O’Beirne added that TII anticipates that the required supporting assessments will be completed in 2022.
He said TII has also confirmed that there will be extensive public consultation in relation to the emerging preferred route as part of the process.
“It is anticipated that this will be progressed in Q2 2022 with a view to completing the preferred route concept and stage 2 project appraisal report by the end of 2022.”