6 February 2020
By Elaine Murphy
A recent study revealed that traffic congestion in Cork City is worse than that in cities like Hong Kong, Sydney, Toronto and Berlin, and Green Party candidate for Cork South Central, Cllr. Lorna Bogue, says it needs to be tackled.
“Traffic congestion is a multifaceted issue that needs to be comprehensively tackled” Councillor Bogue said. “Cars idling in traffic is an issue for the climate, as well as causing health problems from prolonged exposure to the air pollution caused by cars. It also simply, means we aren’t getting to where we need to go on time.
“Hong Kong & Sydney both have higher populations than our entire country,” the Green Party Councillor continued. “They in fact have the equivalent of 60 Corks in Hong Kong alone – how are we more congested? They take public transportation seriously. They have a metro, trams, a variety of buses, and proper cycling infrastructure. CMATS (Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy) says we won’t even start construction on the light rail system until after 2031. This is something we’ve been talking about since the early 2000s. That timeline needs to be seriously expedited.”
The survey, compiled by SatNav company TomTom, revealed that congestion is at its worst in Cork during peak commuter times of 8-9am and 5-6pm, with Cork people travelling during rush hour losing an additional 170 hours – an equivalent of just over one week – in traffic. “The state needs to step up and start putting more funding into public transport,” the Green Party candidate for Cork South Central continued, “we saw with the success of the 220 route that people will take the bus if you provide a quality service – if you build it they will come. But how many people live nowhere near a bus route, or an affordable bus route? How many times can people be left waiting at a bus stop as packed bus after packed bus passes them by?
“We need a fit for purpose public transportation service for the people of Cork, and we need it now, not in 2050.”