Ireland’s NTA unveils €600 million investment in BusConnects Cork

Posted: 26 April 2022 | | No comments yet

In line with Cork’s sustainability commitments, the investment will facilitate the creation of new sustainable transport corridors and cycling and walking infrastructure, in order to encourage public transport use and active travel.

Investment in Public Transport by NTA grows to over €532 million in 2021

Credit: National Transport Authority

Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA) has unveiled a €600 million investment in BusConnects Cork, NTA’s plan to improve bus services throughout Cork city and suburbs, which will include the creation of new Sustainable Transport Corridors (STC) to help to meet the needs of a growing city while accelerating the journey to a net-zero future.

The new investment comes as NTA published the BusConnects Cork Sustainable Transport Corridors Report. The report sets out the authority’s principles and initial thinking on how the STCs will significantly improve bus journey times and increase the number of people walking and cycling into Cork.

If implemented, the proposals will feature:

  • An addition of 54km of new cycling and walking infrastructure, as well as 75km of new dedicated bus lanes, across 12 sustainable transport corridors to the north, south and west of Cork city
  • Reduced bus journey times, which will be cut in half across most of the 12 proposed corridors.

The STC initiative is one of the nine key elements of BusConnects Cork that will transform the city’s bus system, making public transport more accessible to more people. These include redesigning the network of bus routes in the city, transitioning to a zero-emission bus fleet, rolling out new bus livery and implementing a new modern ticketing system.

The proposed sustainable transport corridors are fundamental to realising the ambition of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, developed in connection with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, to increase the number of people using public transport in the city fourfold by 2040 and expand the numbers cycling and walking by 33 per cent.

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The Irish Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said: “BusConnects Cork is key to making public transport and active travel a viable option for people and communities across the city. The new sustainable transport corridors announced today, along with the planned roll-out of a zero-emission bus fleet, will make travel by bus, as well as walking and cycling, more attractive to many more individuals and families. By drastically reducing bus journey times and providing dedicated cycling and walking infrastructure, sustainable transport will be at the very heart of a thriving Cork city into the future.”

Anne Graham, CEO of NTA, said: “With a 51 per cent increase in the numbers taking the bus in just six years, there is a rapidly growing demand for bus services and the need for modern infrastructure to support Cork’s growth. The planned growth in bus services and increase in active travel investment will benefit a significant proportion of Cork’s population, but will not fully succeed without the roll-out of the sustainable transport corridors.”