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Transport Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 17 June 2021

Thursday, 17 June 2021

Ceisteanna (70)

Thomas Gould

Ceist:

70. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to disparities in sustainable transport access in Cork city. [32436/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I can assure the Deputy that I am fully aware of the need to improve sustainable mobility services and infrastructure in the Cork metropolitan area.

As he is likely aware, the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), which was published last year, sets out an ambitious programme of proposed investment in sustainable mobility for the city in the coming years. The Strategy adopts the multi-modal approach to transport planning that has proven successful in many city regions internationally; it provides the necessary evidence-based, and plan-led framework that can guide investment in Cork over the short, medium and longer term. This type of approach is exactly the type of long-term planning needed to ensure effective transport access.

The CMATS has a number of significant public transport proposals across bus, commuter rail and light rail together with the proposed transformation of active travel infrastructure in the city region. I am glad to say there are a number of important steps already in progress in this regard.

The Deputy will be aware that the CMATS involves the delivery of a BusConnects Cork programme of improved bus and active travel infrastructure and a redesigned network of bus services.

Complementing this investment, it is also proposed to develop a light rail service running on an east to west corridor across the city and, in advance of its introduction, BusConnects Cork will deliver a high-capacity, high-frequency bus corridor along the route.

Route options analysis has started on both the BusConnects infrastructure project and the light rail proposal, while work has also started on the BusConnects network redesign.

The Deputy may also be aware that a €185 million investment in Cork’s commuter rail network project was recently announced as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). The transport component of the NRRP comprises an investment in Cork's rail network to support the longer-term objective to provide electrified rail services in the Cork metropolitan area, as set out in the CMATS. This is the largest single project proposed for inclusion in the NRRP and consists of the following works:

- Construction of a new ‘through’ platform within Kent Station to create a suburban rail network between Mallow, Midleton and Cobh;

- Re-signalling of the suburban rail network (62km of track); and

- Double-tracking of current single track between Glounthaune and Midleton (approximately 6 - 8km).

In line with the requirements set by the European Union for inclusion within recovery and resilience plans all works should be completed by end 2026, while it is expected that the works at Kent Station should be completed by end 2024.

I hope the Deputy can see that we are progressing with implementation of the CMATS and expanding sustainable mobility options in Cork city.

Question No. 71 answered with Question No. 5.
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