Cork bus network revamp hailed a ‘rewriting of the rulebook’

The transformation of the city’s bus network, which will see a 53% increase in services across the city, has been praised as a “rewriting of the rule book” for public transport in Cork.
Cork bus network revamp hailed a ‘rewriting of the rulebook’

Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA, said the revised bus network puts Cork “firmly on track” to meeting the ambition of increasing the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040.

THE National Transport Authority has launched plans for a total overhaul of Cork’s bus network, including routes to areas never before served by Bus Éireann, and a second 24-hour service running north-south through the city centre.

The transformation of the city’s bus network, which will see a 53% increase in services across the city, has been praised as a “rewriting of the rule book” for public transport in Cork.

Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA, said the revised bus network puts Cork “firmly on track” to meeting the ambition of increasing the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan described the new network as an “important milestone” in making the Cork metropolitan area more efficient and sustainable.

He also highlighted that it will “greatly benefit” Cork’s night-time economy.

Fine Gael TD Colm Burke said the new bus network is a “huge step forward”, in particular for more than 6,000 Apple employees now able to avail of a 24-hour service from Hollyhill through the city centre to Carrigaline.

Mr Burke said the bus network is “just one of a number of initiatives” needed to encourage people to use public transport, highlighting that it is been 20 years since Cork’s last park and ride facility was opened on the southside — and recommending that lands owned by the city council near Blarney should be developed to provide a park and ride option to those approaching Cork from the north.

Green Party city councillor Oliver Moran heralded the announcement as a “rewriting of the rulebook for public transport in Cork”, praising the increase of frequency in services. He said work still needs to be done to ensure reliability, calling for a “public conversation” on the measures needed along key routes to ensure “buses can arrive on time and are an option for everyone”.

'HUGELY POSITIVE'

Thomas Gould, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, praised the fact that feedback from public consultation has been incorporated in the network plan, and he said new routes to previously unserved areas will have a “hugely positive impact on residents”.

However, he said it was disappointing that the network does not accommodate planned and proposed housing developments. He also expressed concern about the lack of direct bus routes between Glanmire and Little Island, and the north-west and Mahon Point.

Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy welcomed the announcement, but said further sustainable travel options need to be developed to encourage the shift away from private cars and make Cork attractive for employers, such as “the delivery of Cork’s eight suburban rail stations, the electrification of the rail network, strategically placed park and rides that provide access to the city centre, and dedicating the light rail route to buses as an interim step”.

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West Aindrias Moynihan said there is a “great deal in the plan, and it can be a real benefit for locals”. He said it will be “vital” to remove potential choke points that could stop free flow of buses.

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