If you click on the following link, you will be able to read my submission to the National Transport Authority on the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy.
Submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) on the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS)
As a resident of [………………..], I ask that the National Transport Authority would consider the following in the context of the current consultation on the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study:
- The frequency of the current 223 service needs to be increased to at least every half hour. Delivery of this increased frequency is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Double decker buses are necessary on the current 223 service during peak times. At present, passengers regularly stand when commuting. This puts the safety and welfare of passengers at unacceptable risk. Full buses can pass those waiting at bus-stops without pulling in, often leaving passengers waiting a full hour for the next service. This is not acceptable. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Reliability of the current 223 service has been an ongoing issue. Buses need to turn up on time, not early or late. Genuine and accurate real time data is essential. Buses need to pull in at all stops. It is vital that buses complete their full route. At present if buses are behind schedule they can “forget” to service Church Hill, Passage West. If drivers have reached their permitted hours, the bus can simply stop although the route is not complete, thereby leaving passengers stranded. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Although it has been promised for years, there is no direct bus connecting Passage West to Carrigaline.Neither is it indicated in the CMATS proposals. Delivery of this bus route is past critical. Essential services for Passage West have been closed and moved to Carrigaline. Public health and social welfare services which impact the most vulnerable of our residents are now delivered for Passage West out of Carrigaline. It is a core part of the NTA’s remit that public transport is provided to essential services. A direct bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Throughout the 19thcentury and into the early part of the 20thcentury, public transport was effectively and efficiently delivered between Cork City and the harbour towns by a steamer service operating in Cork Harbour. The opportunity for public transport by water has not been considered in CMATS and needs to form an essential part of future public transport proposals for this part of Cork.
- Early delivery of the train station at Ballynoe is essential for improving public transport options in Passage West/Monkstown. It would enable residents of Passage West and Monkstown to efficiently and effectively use the rail line connecting Cobh and Cork City. I ask that delivery of the Ballynoe train station would be a priority of CMATS.
- The Cross River Ferry is an essential part of transport delivery in this part of Cork and particularly in Passage West, Monkstown and Cobh. I ask that it would be considered as an integral part of the CMATS considerations.
- The existing greenway from Passage West to Cork City is a valuable sustainable transport resource.It needs to be extended so that it provides safe connectivity for cyclists to Ringaskiddy and to Carrigaline. I ask that delivery of this Cork Harbour Greenway would be a priority of CMATS.
- Early delivery of bus priority between Rochestown and Cork City is essential if public transport is to provide a reliable alternative to the car. At present, frequent congestion means that the existing bus service does not provide that reliable alternative. I ask that early delivery of this bus priority would be a recognised aim of CMATS.
- The NTA takes decisions on all aspects of our public bus service that can deeply affect the everyday welfare of people living in this part of Cork. Even simple service improvements like bus shelters are a decision of the NTA. Yet the NTA is Dublin-based and Dublin-focused. Communication with the NTA is difficult and at a distance. It is a matter of urgency that the NTA would establish an office in Cork. This is needed now and cannot wait for delivery of CMATS.
Mine was the dubious landmark of having submitted the first motion of our new Council term. I proposed that Cork County Council would create the post of a Tree Protection Officer. In hindsight, I should have used the term “Tree Officer” instead because the concept would be that the role of such an individual would be not just to optimise the protection of existing valuable trees but also to provide professional advice on when trees become dangerous, pruning/maintenance, planting of appropriate species, disputes about trees on shared boundaries, etc. That’s the kind of remit similar roles in UK local authorities have. It was considered at full Council on Monday and received cross-party support. The Chief Executive has the ultimate say when it comes to staffing. He has suggested that the proposal would go to the Environment Strategic Policy Committee for the practicalities to be fleshed out. So that is what will happen next. The introduction to my motion (at the link below) included an outline of some of the extraordinary and sometimes unconsidered multifaceted benefits of trees. They are essentially an intergenerational piece of infrastructure. We have whole Directorates dedicated to other intergenerational pieces of infrastructure!!!
Introduction to motion: Motion