Wednesday 11 December 2019

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Chamber criticises infrastructure delays

Thursday, 28th November, 2019 8:46am

The president of Cork Chamber this week slammed the lack of additional bus lanes in the past ten years in Cork city.

Paula Cogan, who was speaking at Cork Chamber’s ninth Dublin Dinner, said that Irish cities are at risk of becoming uncompetitive if Government does not deliver on the Climate Action Plan and invest in public transport.

Speaking at the event on Tuesday, Ms Cogan added: “Bus Connects must get underway immediately to deliver bus corridors and park and rides for Cork. We are now two years into a 10 year plan without a kilometre of additional bus lane nor a planning application for a single park and ride. We have not added cycle infrastructure of note since the depths of the last economic cycle. We have a commuter railway that is only hindered in growth by the lack of frequency of the service.”

She continued: “Look to Little Island where 66 per cent of employees do not need their car during the day. Then look at the Ballincollig to Carrigaline bus where a 15 minute frequency has led to a 70 per cent increase in journeys. Cork people are crying out for sustainable transport investment now. Can you even imagine credibility or functionality of Dublin today without the Luas or the DART?”

Highlighting the negative impact on city regions from failing to act on climate change, the Chamber President suggested that sustainability should frame all capital investment projects by the State. She said all Irish cities are at risk of becoming uncompetitive if there isn’t an incresase in public transport investment and implementation of the Climate Action Plan.

“Right now in 2019, if we are not fair and sustainable, we are not doing the right thing. Tomorrow, if we are not fair and sustainable, we will not be competitive,“ she said.

Held in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road in association with EY, the event was attended by more than 600 people from across Ireland’s business, political and diplomatic worlds including Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton. He said: “Under Project 2040, Cork will grow at twice the rate of Dublin. It is crucial that in accommodating 50 per cent more people, it is done in a way that is sustainable and conscious of our move towards net-zero emissions as set out in the Climate Action Plan.

“This poses a significant challenge for policy makers, city planners, enterprise and communities within the county.

“The Climate Action Plan provides the framework to make the necessary changes but it requires creativity and collaboration across every sector and Cork Chamber has a key role to play.”

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