'Little Island at tipping point': Cork Chamber call for third entrance as part of plan

'Little Island at tipping point': Cork Chamber call for third entrance as part of plan
File image of traffic at Little Island

Cork Chamber has said a third entrance into one of the country's industrial and commercial powerhouses is already warranted as the workforce and local population already nearly number the "tipping point" criteria for its development.

The chamber made the call, along with other badly needed infrastructure improvements, in its submission to Cork County Council's draft Little Island Transportation Strategy.

The local authority recently unveiled plans to improve access to Little Island but failed to include a third access, on the eastern side of the area close to Cobh Cross, in its plans.

Cork Chamber's submission to the public consultation also calls for integrated cycling and pedestrian networks and improved public transport.

In its submission to the council, Cork Chamber also raises concerns about the employment and population numbers being used to determine the future transportation strategy, highlighting that this data is based on figures in the 2011 census.

"As Little Island is Cork's largest employment area and a key driver of economic growth across the southwest, it is imperative that this location is enabled, adaptive and future-proofed to meet the demands of business, residents and visitors to the island," Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said.

He said that, almost without exception, businesses in the area were telling his organisation that they were in expansion mode.

"The cumulative impact of this is that we are deeply concerned with the baseline figures being used. We estimate the employment and population numbers of Little Island as being close to the tipping point of 13,000, which has been projected as warranting the inclusion of a third, eastern road access," Mr Healy said.

His organisation's submission also recommends a footbridge to link with Little Island train station to be immediately prioritised alongside pedestrian networks, interchangeable public transport, and a public bicycle scheme to incentivise sustainable commuting.

"To offset growing congestion and the future issues that this presents for growth, we strongly emphasise the need for improvements to be undertaken without delay," Mr Healy said.

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