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Student makes light work of Luas proposal

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019 4:48pm

Move over, city engineers! A speedy secondary school student has created his own plan for how a Luas in Cork might look.

Ciarán Meers, a fifth year student from Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh in Bishopstown, has outlined a detailed light rail design to keep Cork’s rising population on track.

Meers’ 80 page proposal contains an in-depth design of two interconnecting light rail lines to connect the city with employment hubs and residential suburbs.

Complete with cost structures, computer mockups and maps, the proposal suggests a ‘red line’ running from Dell-EMC in Ballincollig to Jacob’s Island via the city centre and taking in CIT, UCC, IDA Business Park, city centre, the Docklands, Citygate and Mahon Point, and a ‘blue line’ from Cork Airport to Blackpool, with stops including the Airport Business Park, Black Ash, Kent Station and Blackpool Shopping Centre.

“Though it seems to be on many minds, the idea of light rail in Cork has remained mostly out of sight, and any debate remains very much in the infant stages,” Ciarán said.

“Since being pledged in the Ireland 2040 draft plan, and awaiting the publication of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS), there has been little movement on the details; where a system would go, what it would contain, or how it can aid the development of Cork city in the coming decades.”

Saying a light rail system is “not only feasible, but necessary” for Cork’s expansion, which could see its population grow to more than 500,000 by 2050, the proposal claims a light rail system would lead to “more reliable services, the reduction of congestion, and the attraction of increased development” to the city.

Ciarán said he had worked for a number of months on the proposal and had contacted individuals and groups since, saying he hoped it could help to progress discussion on the future of light rail in Cork.

He added in the proposal that although he did not expect it to be unlikely to be advanced, that “providing input on how such a system would be run is vital to advancing public perception of how transport in Cork city can look”.

To view the proposal, go to corkluas.wordpress.com.

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