Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for more meaningful consultation with local people when it comes to the emerging BusConnects Project. This week more information was revealed that a proposal is being pitched to provide bus and cycle lanes in both directions on Douglas Road.
Initial proposals pitch that Douglas Road would be made one-way outbound only for general traffic. Inbound traffic would be required to use other routes. A new bridge is proposed to connect Grange Road to Carrigaline Road over the scenic Mangala Valley. Additional road widening is proposed required on Ballycurreen Road, Grange Road and Carrigaline Road.
These are parts of the twelve sustainable transport corridors proposed in different parts of the city, each designed with the aim of making the bus system operate more efficiently and to encourage more people to cycle by enhancing infrastructure. In places, it is proposed to acquire parts of the garden space of houses plus land in front of commercial properties, to allow the bus and cycle facilities to be provided.
Cllr McCarthy raised the lack of partnership with members of Cork City Council at this month’s meeting of the Council’s Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee. Cllr McCarthy noted: “I appreciate the ambition of BusConnects Cork but what is happening is that proposals are being pitched in a way, I feel, that are being set in stone before proper consultation. I am not happy at all with the partnership between the National Transport Authority and the elected member. There is a format of let’s just inform the local public reps of what we’re doing instead of partnering with them”.
“There was also a recent consultation with the general public on network routes and there has been no feedback to those myriad of concerns from the general public yet, which were brought to my colleagues and I. The communications and partnering up piece really needs to improve. Within the initial proposals, there are also nods to CPO-ing garden space and eliminating trees. Working with local people is really crucial; otherwise there is a real fear the Council chamber could dismiss proposals without effective discussion”, concluded Cllr McCarthy”.
BusConnects Cork entails a €600m investment and includes nine measures which will transform Cork’s bus system, making public transport more useful to more people. A number of the initiatives are already underway including the redesign of the Bus Network in the Cork metropolitan area, which had two rounds of public consultation during 2021. The feedback received by the NTA during these consultations will inform the basis for a Final Redesigned Bus Network.
Currently there are only 14km of bus lanes are currently being provided. The proposed sustainable transport corridors includes approximately 75km of new bus lanes, multiples of the existing provision, and aspiring to reduce journey times by bus by on average 15 minutes across the proposed 12 corridors.
More information is at www.busconnects.ie/cork