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Strategy doesn't ‘cut the mustard’

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 4:54pm

A plan to address transportation issues in Little Island has been welcomed with a degree of caution this week.

The Little Island Transportation Study, which was presented to Cork County Council this week, aims to identify and resolve existing problems with traffic and public transport in the area.

However, Cllr Pádraig O'Sullivan has expressed concern relating to a number of details in the study including a glaring disparity in the amount of people claimed to be working in the area by the Cork County Council compared to numbers quoted by the Little Island Business Association.

“The council are quoting CSO figures from 2016, so those figures are two years old already if not more. That doesn’t cut the mustard with me,” Cllr O’Sullivan told the Cork Independent.

He added: “The clarity in the number of employees is very important to me because the contractors who did the traffic modelling for the Council showed that once we hit 13,000 employees they could then look into the possibility of providing a third access point to Little Island which is something I’ve been lobbying for over the last three years.”

Although not entirely convinced by the study, Cllr O’Sullivan did vote to allow the transportation strategy to proceed on the basis that Cork County Council will undertake a full assessment of the exact number of employees working in Little Island.

Initial road works are set to commence in the next week which will provide extra lanes for traffic, but Cllr O’Sullivan believes that it will be “at least two years before we’ll see anything meaningful happen”.

Also taking the study with a pinch of salt is CEO of Little Island Business Association (LIBA), Michael Mulcahy, who told the Cork Independent yesterday that the figures are wrong and don’t take into account the numbers of people who visit Little Island every day for a number of different purposes.

Mr Mulcahy also suggested that Cork County Council may not necessarily want to commit to providing a third access point for Little Island and may be deliberately underestimating the number of people working there.

“I would suggest that the inaccuracy of the figures is known to the Council and I am calling into question the methodology used for this study and whether there was an intention on anybody’s part in order to avoid having to deal with the third access point,” he said.

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