10th March 2014, Monday
By Bryan Smyth
Critical improvements to the Dunkettle Interchange should be prioritised to reduce bottleneck and to facilitate the free flow of traffic onto the M8 motorway according to a report published by Engineers Ireland.
The regional report found that the transport infrastructure in Cork needs investment as it is inadequately maintained and unable to meet peak demand. Titled ‘The State of Ireland 2014 – a review of transport in Cork’ the report stated that initiatives to change commuter behaviour and allow the shift from car to other modes of transport need to be developed.
The report, compiled for Engineers Week 2014, which uses a grading system applied by expert members of Engineers Ireland, analyses five key areas of transport infrastructure: roads (motorway and other routes), rail, airports, sea port and sustainable transport. Motorways and airport infrastructure, allocated a ‘B’ grade achieved the best mark of the five areas evaluated. Roads (other routes) and sea ports were awarded a ‘C’ grade and rail a ‘C+’ grade. While sustainable transport was ranked lowest with only a ‘D’ grade.
The report calls for the construction of a bus rapid transport (BRT) corridor and improvements to the cycle network in order to stimulate a modal shift which is needed to reduce car traffic volumes into the city centre. The current level of car usage is unsustainable with 80% of the 50,000 trips by citizens to work every day made by car. The report also calls for investment in the electrification of the intercity line to Dublin to reduce journey times. Currently rail travel times are comparable to car journey times and this improvement will make the line more attractive to travellers.
Other recommendations include the development of a bus service into and out of Cork airport. This is proposed to lessen congestion along the route and at the single point of access into the airport as it is predicted that traffic will grow as the economy expands.
Engineers Week 2014 which took place nationwide in February saw a host of volunteers, schools, teachers, third-level institutes, students, parents and the general public in Cork city and county take part in the week long programme of events run by Engineers Ireland to celebrate the world of engineering in Ireland.
Staying with transport, but in a separate vain TheCork.ie spoke with the John Mullins, Chairman of the Port of Cork Company. The port eventually wants to move shipping from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy and that will have the added benefit of improving road infrastructure across Cork.
John Mullins has confirmed that the port company is “on course” to submit it’s full planning application
for Ringaskiddy next month. It’s already a number of “pre-planning consultations” with An Bord Pleanála
Mr Mullins says there will be “big dividend” for the public if planning permission is approved for Ringaskiddy, because it will confirm the need for the N28 upgrade, which will benefit Carrigaline commuters.
The Port Chairman also expects the Government to announce OTHER related road upgrades over the next 18 months