NTA defends delay in publishing the emerged preferred route of Cork Luas

Details of the route of the proposed Luas light rail transit (LRT) system, which will run from Ballincollig to Mahon Point, had been expected to be revealed before the end of this year. However, this has been delayed until next year.
NTA defends delay in publishing the emerged preferred route of Cork Luas

Computer generated image of the Cork LUAS system as part of the CMATS.

THE National Transport Authority (NTA) has defended the delay in announcing the emerging preferred route of Cork City’s much-anticipated Luas, following criticism.

Details of the route of the proposed Luas light rail transit (LRT) system, which will run from Ballincollig in the west to Mahon Point in the east, had been expected to be revealed before the end of this year. However, this has been delayed until next year.

“The options selection process is a detailed and complex process of considering all possible options for the routing of the Luas in the various sections between Ballincollig and Mahon,” a spokesperson for the NTA told The Echo.

“TII [Transport Infrastructure Ireland] are finalising the options selection report at present and intend to be in position to undertake non-statutory public consultation on the emerging preferred route for the Cork Luas in early Q2 2023.

“The public consultation will provide information on the emerging preferred route, details of all options considered, and the assessment undertaken to determine the emerging preferred route.

“These assessments consider a range of criteria including potential demand, costs, environmental and traffic impacts, and engineering constraints.

“During the non-statutory consultation period all stakeholders will have an opportunity to make submissions on the emerging preferred route and elected representatives will be briefed on the emerging preferred route at the start of the consultation period.”

Following the public consultation, TII will seek to define a preferred route for the Cork Luas.

“The design of this preferred route will be further developed to the level of detail required to prepare the environmental impact assessment report and railway order documentation.

“In line with the requirements of the public spending code, it is only at this stage the preliminary business case for the project will be prepared and submitted to Government for approval in principle to allow for the railway order to be lodged [with An Bord Pleanála].”

Over €1.46m has been spent so far on costs associated with the Luas project.

Speaking to , Labour local area representative Peter Horgan said he was disappointed with the delay in announcing the emerging preferred route.

“We need to know that this is going to happen but we don’t want to see overspend like we have seen on Dublin transport links over the years,” said Mr Horgan.

The NTA spokesperson said while there is an initial delay in publication of the emerging preferred route “this is reflective of the level of analysis required to ensure a robust option selection process and is necessary to reduce potential for further delays during the statutory planning process of the project”.

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