8 March 2021
By Mary Bermingham
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has announced funding of €240 million to Local Authorities for sustainable travel projects, of which Cork County Council has received an allocation of €15.8 million. On-going projects within the Cork County Metropolitan Area are set to receive €7.5 million, up from €2.04 in 2020, with an additional €8.3 million invested in walking and cycling infrastructure across county towns and villages.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey commenting on the allocation, noted that,
“Up to this year, NTA funding for Cork County under the Sustainable Transport Measures Grant had, with limited exception, been restricted to the Cork County Metropolitan Area. This much welcomed decision by the NTA to extend the grant scheme to a countywide basis is a clear endorsement of Cork County Council’s ability to deliver. By leveraging the experience gained within Cork County Metropolitan Area and on foot of this additional €8.3 million grant allocation, Cork County Council can now deliver similar interventions in towns and villages across County Cork.”
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, in welcoming the funding allocation noted how,
“Cork County Council is currently progressing a range of significant schemes, from pedestrian and cycles route networks to bus corridors, with an emphasis on active travel and connectivity in the county. The overarching objective of these projects is to connect people to places and make our county towns and villages more sustainable, safer and grow our quality of life here in Cork County. It’s great news that not only has the allocation for the Cork Metropolitan area been increased substantially on last year but also that funding has been extended to include the whole county.”
Along the Eastern Corridor, the Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill Pedestrian and Cycle Route will see the residential settlements along the corridor connected with the strategic employments centres at Carrigtwohill and Little Island, and onwards to the city, thereby providing commuters and students with a direct and safe alternative mode of travel to work, school and college.
Interventions proposed for Little Island will see the network permeate the residential and employment centres on the Island while also complementing the scheme with the provision of a priority bus corridor. The recently approved Ballinacurra to Midleton Pedestrian and Cycle Route will be extended westwards to connect into this network while also connecting into the Midleton Youghal Greenway.
Mr. Lucey added,
“NTA funding facilitates continued investment in Carrigaline, the county’s largest town, and its neighbouring towns and villages along the Southern Metropolitan Corridor. While the NTA is funding the Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (TPREP) it is also providing significant investment allowing Cork County Council to deliver interventions identified as consistent with the objectives of this plan, for example the Carrigaline to Passage West and Ringaskiddy cycle corridor, the Ballinrea Road pedestrian and cycle improvement scheme and numerous other upgrades to the network throughout the town.”
On Friday March 5th the NTA gave approval to Cork County Council, to progress, under this grant allocation, a total of 101 interventions for towns and villages across the county together with 27 pedestrian crossing lighting upgrades. It is expected that approval for additional schemes will be forthcoming.
This investment in towns and villages is additional to the on-going regional and urban bus service infrastructure upgrades being delivered by the Council, and again funded by the NTA, which will see the upgrade of 44 bus stops countywide, 35 to accessible standard, at a cost of €1.2 million.