Preferred Route Options published today with public consultation to run until Thursday 25 May 2023
Project a key element of the €600m BusConnects Cork programme of works
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has today launched the second round of public consultation on the Sustainable Transport Corridors earmarked for development as part of the BusConnects Cork programme.
The latest round of public consultation centres on the Preferred Route Options which have been identified. This comes following the first round of public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Routes between June and October 2022.
BusConnects Cork is a €600m programme of work that aims to transform the city’s bus system, making public transport more accessible to more people. By delivering approximately 91kms of new bus lanes and bus priority and 96km of cycle facilities (one direction) delivering 48km of the cycle network, BusConnects Cork will make travel by bus, as well as active travel, a viable option while also reducing carbon emissions and congestion.
Following the first round of public consultation, the NTA has been reviewing the almost 3,000 submissions made by the public and engaging constructively with 35 residents’ , business and special interest groups across the city. Community Forums were also established for each corridor to enable a two-way dialogue with local communities to help inform the review process.
This extensive engagement process has resulted in a number of revisions to the Sustainable Transport Corridors (STCs). Among the changes are:
The NTA, in collaboration with Cork City Council, is proposing a number of enhancements to urban spaces along the Sustainable Transport Corridors including:
The proposed Sustainable Transport Corridors, of which there are now 11, are fundamental to realising the ambition of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, developed in connection with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, to increase the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040 and expand the numbers cycling and walking by 33%.
Consultation on the revised proposals begins today and runs until Thursday 25 May 2023. A series of information events will be hosted across Cork in April. All submissions in the second round of public consultation will be reviewed by the NTA with plans refined accordingly. Technical, environmental, and transport impact assessment work will then take place with final plans due to be presented to An Bord Pleanála for statutory approval.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: “BusConnects Cork is central to Government plans to make it easier and more attractive to travel by bus as well as to cycle and walk around Cork city. The publication of the Preferred Route Options is an important milestone in helping to rollout Sustainable Transport Corridors across the city which can make that vision a reality.
“It’s vital that commuters and communities continue to have their say on the proposals. These views will help the NTA and Cork City Council in finalising the Sustainable Transport Corridors and ensure that Cork has the public transport infrastructure to support a growing city.”
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “Last year, we first unveiled a €600m investment in BusConnects Cork, which included the creation of new Sustainable Transport Corridors to help meet the needs of a growing city while accelerating the journey to a net-zero future.”
“Through direct engagement with communities across the city, we’ve been able to identify issues of concern along some of the Sustainable Transport Corridors. The amended proposals put forward today in collaboration with Cork City Council respond constructively to local issues and help to mitigate many of the challenges raised by local groups.
“BusConnects Cork is needed now more than ever. The 91kms of new bus lanes and bus priority and 96kms in cycling infrastructure will help meet the rapidly growing demand for bus services and active travel as well as providing modern infrastructure for a modern European city.
“I would encourage the public to share their views on the Preferred Route Options in the coming weeks. The NTA will also continue our two-way dialogue with community groups and public representatives in the weeks ahead. Your views will help to shape the final proposals and play a key role in creating a more sustainable future for communities across Cork city.”
Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council said: “Cork City Council is focused on creating a more sustainable city that is prepared for the future. However, we must make public transport and active travel an option for more people in more places across the city.
“That is why Cork City Council has been working in partnership with the NTA in recent months on the BusConnects Cork Sustainable Transport Corridors. Today’s proposals seek to take on board the feedback from the recent public consultation. The people of Cork have the opportunity once again to have their say on the amended proposals.
“I am confident that this project will unlock new opportunities to change how we travel and will also renew the city. We look forward to continuing our work with the NTA to bring the project forward.”
Each of the 11 STC Public Consultation brochures contains a detailed description of the Preferred Route Option (PRO) and are available to download from the BusConnects Cork website from 11am on Thursday 30 March 2023.